Palestinians hurl stones towards Israeli Border Police during clashes at a checkpoint between Shuafat and Jerusalem September 18, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Security forces arrested 16 Palestinians from the West bank village of Harbata Al-Masbah on suspicion of hurling firebombs and rocks at Israeli cars and buses traveling on a central and busy artery that links Modi'in to Jerusalem, the Shin Bet domestic Israeli security forces arrested 16 Palestinians from the West Bank village of Harbata al-Masbah on suspicion of hurling firebombs and rocks at cars and buses traveling on Route 443, the Shin Bet announced on Wednesday.
In a joint Shin Bet-IDF-Israel Police operation, the suspects, who allegedly struck and damaged a number of vehicles on several occasions, were taken into custody. Some served jail sentences for past attacks, including on Route 443, the domestic intelligence agency said.
The Shin Bet described the attacks as being unlinked to any terror organization, although two of the main suspects, Suhib Maslah and Belal Kasbah, worked in an “organized manner carrying out firebombings.”
It added that the tactics employed by the suspects became “systematic and frequent” when they targeted the busy artery, which links Modi’in and Jerusalem, crossing the Green Line. It said the suspects also targeted IDF units in the area around the village.
The investigation, like others before it, exposed the involvement of Palestinian minors in severe security offenses and showed how previously convicted terror operatives returned to carrying out attacks after their release, the Shin Bet said, adding that convicted terrorists often carry out more dangerous attacks after completing their prison time.
The agency said it is seeking to keep the suspects in custody until the end of legal proceedings.