Senior PFLP operative arrested in Nablus raid

Majdi Mabruk accused of recruiting and arming terrorists, planning attacks.

IDF arrest 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
IDF arrest 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
A senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine believed to be responsible for coordinating numerous attacks on IDF troops, as well as planning suicide bombings and building explosive devices, was arrested early Saturday morning. In a joint operation, IDF special forces and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) detained Majdi Tzubhi Kasam Mabruk, 31, in the Ein Beit Ilma Refugee Camp in Nablus, where he was believed to command the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigade, the PFLP's military arm. During the arrest, security forces came under fire, but no casualties or damage were reported. Mabruk was in possession of an M-16 automatic rifle equipped with a telescopic sight, a grenade and 15 full ammunition clips when he was arrested. Security forces said that Mabruk had been involved in a number of attacks against Israeli forces in recent years, including planning suicide operations to be launched from Nablus, as well as planning and carrying out shooting attacks against IDF soldiers operating in the refugee camp. The IDF noted that some of the attacks coordinated by Mabruk had caused casualties to IDF troops. Mabruk was also allegedly involved in building explosive devices, in cooperation with Hamas operatives also active in the Nablus camp. In addition to preparing - and carrying out - attacks, security forces say that Mabruk recruited new volunteers from neighboring villages and smuggled them weapons with which to carry out shooting attacks on the roads surrounding Nablus. "Majdi Mabruk supplied firearms, explosive devices and ammunition to many terror operatives which were used in attacks against our forces," said spokesmen from the IDF's Central Command following the his arrest. Overnight Thursday, IDF forces operating in the West Bank arrested 10 wanted Palestinians - four in Aatil, southwest of Jenin, two in Zeita, also southwest of Jenin, two in Kalkilya, and one each in Abu Dis and Tzurif in the Jerusalem area. Hours later, on Friday evening, IDF troops at the Bekaot checkpoint noticed a Palestinian who appeared suspicious. The soldiers searched him and discovered a 25-cm.-long knife concealed on his person. The knife was confiscated and the man was transferred to security forces for interrogation.