Released for publication: A high-stakes joint operation by the IDF and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) has foiled a terrorist plot to kidnap an Israeli soldier and attack other Israeli citizens.
At least 20 terrorists were recently arrested on suspicion of planning to kidnap IDF soldiers and shoot Jews in the Jerusalem and Samaria areas.
The terrorists, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, were residents of Ramallah and eastern Jerusalem. Several have prior Israeli arrest and prison records.
According to a report broadcast Monday by Voice of Israel government radio, the terrorists had also planned to obtain weapons to carry out suicide bombings at Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. In addition, the terror cell allegedly plotted to murder Arabs suspected of collaborating with Israel. They also planned to kidnap a Palestinian Authority land dealer and hold him for ransom, which they intended to use to fund their activities.
One of the terrorists who had been imprisoned in Israel admitted he had served as the PFLP liaison abroad, and made contact with the organization's leadership in Syria. Another confessed that he planned to leave for Iran.
David Ha'ivri of the Samaria local authority noted that the PFLP is known as "a particularly sick and demented" terror organization, which is associated with horrific killings including those of the Shabo and Fogel families in Itamar, in 2002 and 2011, respectively.
Further south, security personnel arrested a resident of Lakiya, a Negev Bedouin city near Be'er Sheva.The suspect was detained on suspicion of being involved in an attempted kidnapping of an Israeli soldier that took place in Be'er Sheva.
The Magistrate's Court in the southern city granted a request by police on Monday to extend the remand of the suspect by eight days.