Gag Order Lifted: Terror Cell Members in Custody

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It is now permitted to report that in March 2012, a terror cell was actively working to abduct Israelis in Shomron. ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) agents working with the IDF and Israel Police arrested the cell members operating in the Ramallah area after terrorists made numerous attempts to abduct Israelis. They were hoping to take hostages to use them as negotiating pawns towards obtaining the release of imprisoned terrorists.

According to the Shin Bet the cell included nine members. Some are in Shin Bet custody while others are in the custody of PA (Palestinian Authority) security forces. The cell members are identified with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In preparation for their attacks in which they hoped to take hostages they purchased tasers, pepper spray, batons and non-functioning guns. Some were actively engaged in trying to take hostages while others acted as lookouts. They planned to hold their hostages in a cave of their Ramallah hideout. They were going to photograph the prisoner and upload it to the internet and then enter into negotiations towards the release of terrorists imprisoned in Israel. They made several unsuccessful attempts in March 2012, in the Binyamin Regional Council area of Shomron.

On March 11th they tried abducting a driver between Rantis and Kiryat Sefer near Beit Aryeh. They blocked the road and tried to get the driver out of the vehicle but he managed to flee the scene. 24 hours later a female motorist was targeted on the approach road to Maale Levona located in the Gush Shilo area. Once again they blocked the road, compelling the vehicle to stop, pounding on the windshield with blunt objects. Baruch Hashem, here too the intended victim managed to drive off to safety.

On March 15th they targeted their next victim in the area of Givat Assaf. She was traveling with her 8-year-old daughter near Beit El. Here too, she succeeded in fleeing B’chasdei Hashem.

Criminal indictments were already been handed down against the cell commander, Mahmud Ramadan along with the other cell members in Israeli custody. Prosecution officials report the Gilad Shalit release and the prisoner hunger strike has given terrorists additional motivation to abduct Israelis.

Mrs. Yael Shachak spoke to Walla News, describing her ordeal.

“It was clear to me from the first moment that they wanted to murder us. We escaped with our lives through miracles. I already could see the end coming”, she explains as she was targeted by the cell as she drove with her eight-year-old daughter.

Now, today, she realizes the PFLP terrorists planned to take her and her daughter hostage. Mrs. Shachak, a resident of Beit El, explained that “Hearing of the cell and its capture I began shaking, aware of what could have been”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)