IDF nabs 2 terror cells linked to West Bank rioting

Security forces arrested in November members of both terror cells allegedly behind a series of violent disturbances in the West Bank.

January 9, 2013 13:51
2 minute read.
Palestinian gunmen from Al-Aqsa brigades of Fatah

Al-Aqsa brigades of Fatah gunmen 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)


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Security forces uncovered two terror cells that are allegedly behind a series of violent disturbances in the West Bank in recent weeks.

The arrests were made in November, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] said on Wednesday.

The first series of arrests targeted suspects from the village of Husan and the Bethlehem area, who are suspected of hurling rocks at an Israeli vehicle on Route 375, which resulted in an Israeli woman, Ziyona Kala, being seriously injured.

Kala, wife of the famous singer Itzik Kala, was in intensive care for weeks after the attack, before regaining consciousness last month.

Her husband told Channel 2 in December that when he first saw her in the hospital, "I didn't believe she would live. Without a doubt, there was a moment I fell apart. I don't remember when I cried like that," he said. Since then, Ziyona Kala has made good progress in her recovery.

"During questioning by the Shin Bet, the suspects – some of them minors – confessed to the act, and to throwing rocks at other vehicles that travelled along the road at the time," the Shin Bet said.

The intelligence agency named Abd Aluhab Hamamra, 22, as the man who threw the rock that caused the injury. He will be charged in the coming days at the Military Court of Judea. Four additional suspects – three of them minors – will be charged for taking part in the attack.

In another investigation, a group of Palestinians from Kafr Bita, near Nablus, are under arrest for throwing rocks from a moving vehicle, and for attempting to carry out shooting attacks using a homemade firearm in the northern West Bank.

The Shin Bet said that the suspects confessed to being behind violent disturbances and attempted shooting attacks. One of the suspects – a minor – acted as a driver during the rock throwing, the Shin Bet added. A second suspect, Hamza Abd Salah Khader, 22, a member of the Fatah Tanzim group, confessed to being head of the cell, and to opening fire on Israeli targets.

The suspects will be charged in the coming days in the Samaria Military Court.

"We view rock throwing incidents as grave incidents," the Shin Bet said, "especially rock throwing from a moving vehicle, which creates a significant danger.

The Shin Bet said similar attacks in the past resulted in the murders of Asher Palmer and his baby son, Yehonatan, in September 2011, when rocks were thrown at their vehicle from another moving vehicle near Hebron.

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