Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances [file] 390 (R).
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed on Monday that it had arrested 13
Palestinians for plotting a series of attacks against IDF troops near Ramallah.
The detainees include two employees of the Palestinian Red Crescent, the goalie
for the Palestinian Olympic soccer team and a senior intelligence officer in the
The Shin Bet said the group was part of a terror
cell operating out of the Amari refugee camp near Ramallah and had opened fire
at an army unit on January 20. The shooting was the first in the area in four
years and prompted a massive IDF manhunt.
The senior PA intelligence
officer, who is also in charge of security at the Red Crescent headquarters in
Ramallah, allegedly provided the Kalashnikov assault rifles used in the
Among those arrested was Omar Abu Rwayyis, the Palestinian
Olympic soccer team’s goalie, according to the Shin Bet, and a Red Crescent
employee. Two other men being held were also employed by the Red Crescent and
worked as guards outside the organization’s headquarters.
Fuad Usha, the
owner of a Ramallah barber shop who is currently in PA custody, served as a
lookout in the attack, the Shin Bet said.
“The attackers took advantage
of their status as Red Crescent employees to perpetrate the attack against IDF
soldiers in January,” a senior officer from the Central Command said on
One of the cell members, the officer said, had taken up a
position on the top floor of the Red Crescent office building in Ramallah and
served as the lookout on the night of the attack. Abu Rwayyis and another
employee left the building with their rifles and once the IDF unit passed by
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“Weapons are not allowed inside the Red Crescent building
but the cell used it to launch their attack from inside,” the officer
Following the incident, the shooters left the assault rifles in a
bag inside an abandoned home and planned to move them to a new hideout the next
day, but some of the cell members had already been arrested and their plan was
The Shin Bet said the cell members were planning additional
attacks against IDF troops near the Atarot checkpoint, as well as in Ma’aleh
Adumim and the settlement of Ofra. They also allegedly planned to abduct an IDF
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