Ramat Gan terror poison plot uncovered

Shin Bet nabs Nablus men who worked illegally at Grill Express, allegedly recruited by al-Aksa.

poisoning224,88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Two Palestinians from Nablus who worked illegally at a restaurant in Ramat Gan have been arrested for planning to poison the food they served, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed on Thursday. The two 21-year-olds - Aham Rial and Anas Salum - confessed during their interrogations to plotting to poison food at the Grill Express restaurant, near the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan. The plan was to use a white, odorless and tasteless poison that they were to receive from their handlers in Nablus. The two said they had been recruited into the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Nablus - which the Shin Bet said was financed by Hizbullah - after they had begun working at the restaurant. The two had asked their handlers to provide them with an odorless and tasteless poison that would take effect only four hours after it was digested. In addition to plotting the poison attack, the two were also asked by the Nablus infrastructure to find ways to help smuggle a suicide bomber into Israel. The two were arrested on March 19 - just days before they were scheduled to receive the poison, security officials said. According to officials, the restaurant owner was aware that the two Palestinians were in the country illegally and did not have work permits. A Tel Aviv Police spokeswoman said the owner was subsequently arrested for employing Palestinians who had entered illegally, and would be charged in the near future. Security officials added that the Fatah terror infrastructure in Nablus was still working to perpetrate attacks against Israel and would most likely make contact with Palestinians illegally working in Israel - like Salum and Rial - for assistance. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are living and working in Israel without permits, according to estimates made in recent years by the Knesset Interior Committee. Police regularly arrest these Palestinians and send them back to the West Bank, but a demand for cheap labor continues to provide them with jobs, luring them back into Israel. In recent weeks, the Shin Bet and the Knesset Interior Committee have clashed on the severity of punishments that should be meted out to Israelis caught transporting these Palestinians. In 2003, three Jerusalem Arabs with ties to Hamas were sentenced to five-to-10 years in prison for planning to carry out a mass poisoning at the capital's Cafe Rimon restaurant. The suspects told police that the poison they had intended to use on Cafe Rimon patrons had no taste or smell, and would take effect 15 hours after being ingested. It produces symptoms similar to a heart attack, they said.