(photo credit: REUTERS)
Security forces uncovered two terrorist cells in December and January that carried out shooting attacks on Israeli targets, the Shin Bet announced on Thursday.
In a joint IDF-Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) initiative, one cell belonging to the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine organization was nabbed in Beit Rima, in the Binyamin region.
It carried out a gun attack on Israeli vehicles in the area, and targeted an IDF position in Nabi Salih. There were no injuries in the attacks.
The Shin Bet added that the cell took part in fire bombings and pipe bomb incidents directed at IDF units in the West Bank. Security forces seized four firearms used to shoot at Israelis, and ammunition.
“The members of the cell confessed to their intention to carry out more attacks, including a combined gun and pipe bomb attack on an IDF base, stabbings against soldiers, and kidnapping a soldier,” the intelligence agency added.
A second cell from Bani Naim near Hebron carried out several shootings at Israeli vehicles traveling on Route 60 near Kiryat Arba, according to security forces.
It said a 21-year-old Palestinian man and a 16-year-old minor confessed during questioning. During one gun attack, bullets were lodged in an Israeli vehicle. “The suspects turned in a gun, a rifle, and ammunition hidden in one of the suspect’s homes,” the Shin Bet added.
A third suspect, a 22-year-old man who is a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian operative, was arrested in Hebron and confessed to providing some of the cell’s weapons.
Military prosecutors are set to charge the suspects in the coming days.
The Shin Bet said the incident underscores the threat posed by localized terrorist groups, and their high motivation to carry out attacks.