Shin Bet thwarts attacks by Iranian-backed PFLP cell in the West Bank

The cell was planning to target Jewish settlements and IDF soldiers in the West Bank.

Assad Al-Amali, arrested by Shin Bet operatives for planning terror attacks against Israel (photo credit: SHIN BET)
Assad Al-Amali, arrested by Shin Bet operatives for planning terror attacks against Israel
(photo credit: SHIN BET)
Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service thwarted attacks against Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers by a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine cell, which was trained and financed by Iran and Hezbollah, the agency announced on Tuesday.
The exposure of the terror cell, which operated under the guise of a Palestinian civilian organization called ‘Al-Shabab Al-Alumi Al-Arabi’ (or Arab Nationalist Youth) began after the April 20 arrest and interrogation Popular Front activist Yazan Abu Salah, a 23-year-old resident of the West Bank village of Araba near Jenin.
Yazan Abu Salah (Credit: Shin Bet)Yazan Abu Salah (Credit: Shin Bet)
During his interrogation, the Shin Bet received intelligence about his involvement in planning terror attacks in the West Bank, and that he purchased weapons and recruited activists to head two different cells, one in the Samaria region and one in Ramallah.
According to the Shin Bet, he confessed that he planned for the cells to carry out numerous serious attacks, including an attack in the northern Israeli town of Harish, as well as the abduction of a soldier in order to use as leverage for the release of Palestinians from Israeli prison.
The interrogation revealed his connections to the Arab Nationalist Youth organization which operated under the direction of its military wing, the al-Kharqi al-Alumi al-Arabi (Arab Nationalist Guard) which is based in Syria and that fought with regime troops against the Islamic State group and the al-Nusra Front, as well as regime opponents.
Following Abu Salah’s interrogation, his cousin Mahmud Abu Salah, a 29-year-old resident of Bir Zeit, was arrested. During his interrogation, the agency learned that the organization conducts joint training with operatives in Iran, as well as with Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army, which also fund the organization’s activities.
Mahmud Abu Salah (Credit: Shin Bet)Mahmud Abu Salah (Credit: Shin Bet)
The organization is headed by Assad Al-Amali (known as "Du-al-Qarqi"), who operates from Lebanon and is the organization's liaison with Iran and Hezbollah.
The “investigation revealed intelligence regarding the deep involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in promoting terrorist activity against Israel,” the statement said, adding that Abu Salah was expected to go to Lebanon for military training to learn how to shoot, operate drones, manufacture weapons and more.
The “investigation also revealed that Abu Salah drew inspiration for planning and carrying out the attacks from the PFLP attack in Ein Bubin, in which the late Rene [sic] Shnerb was murdered,” the statement said.
In December, the Shin Bet announced that it had uncovered and dismantled a 50-person-strong terror cell believed to be behind a string of deadly attacks in the area including the deadly Ein Bubin (Dolev spring) bombing.
As part of the investigation, approximately 50 PFLP operatives, including senior members of the terror group, were arrested and a large number of weapons was seized including M-16s, Kalashnikovs, Uzis, Galil automatic rifles, pistols with silencers, ammunition and fertilizers to build bombs, as well as walkie-talkies, telescopic devices and more.
Following the interrogations of the two cousins, eight other operatives who were involved in planning attacks against Israeli targets were arrested.
“The investigation once again emphasized the close ties that exist between Iran, Hezbollah and the Popular Front terrorist organization, in favor of promoting terrorist activity against Israel,” the agency said, adding that the Shin Bet “will continue to work to prevent any terrorist activity against Israeli citizens.”


Tags Shin Bet pflp