The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Tuesday that it had thwarted a terror plot by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to blow up a central synagogue in Modi'in in an attack that could have killed dozens of people. Over the past two months, Shin Bet operatives working in conjunction with the IDF apprehended 12 members of a PFLP cell in the West Bank that was planning to destroy the synagogue on the corner of Rehov Nehar Hayarden and Rehov Nahal Zohar in Modi'in. The cell also planned to kidnap American citizens in the Hebron area whom they intended to use as bargaining chips in negotiations for the release of jailed PFLP chief Ahmed Sadat. Last year, the cell kidnapped an American near Hebron, but he quickly managed to escape. In February, the Shin Bet arrested Ramzi Sharwana, a PFLP member from Dura near Hebron who was working illegally at a construction site in Modi'in. Sharwana told interrogators he was in touch with PFLP operatives in the Gaza Strip who had asked him to set up a terrorist cell in the West Bank, recruit suicide bombers and locate a synagogue that could be targeted to avenge "what the Jews are doing on the Temple Mount." Sharwana chose the synagogue on Rehov Nehar Hayarden as the target because he was familiar with Modi'in from his work in the area. He said the cell had also planned to perpetrate shooting attacks against Israelis waiting at bus stops in the city. "Many lives were saved with the arrest of the cell members," security officials said, adding that the case was another example of how Gaza-based terrorists were trying to organize attacks from the West Bank.