Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian man suspected of agreeing to carry out attacks for the terrorist group Hamas, the Shin Bet announced Monday.
Bahar Sa’ad, 26, from the wealthy Palestinian town of Mazraa Sharqia near Ramallah, was arrested in May and is accused of traveling to Jordan to meet with Hamas terrorist Hesham Ibrahim Hijaz, who originally hails from the same city.
According to the Shin Bet, Hijaz recruited Sa’ad to the organization, instructing him to carry out shooting attacks and to kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Hijaz was released in 2011 as part of the deal that saw 1,027 Palestinian prisoners released in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Hijaz was serving 10 life sentences for his membership in a cell that carried out attacks on Israelis between 2001-2003, killing 10.
According to the terms of the agreement, Hijaz was forced to relocate abroad, and is living in Qatar.
Hijaz instructed Sa’ad to recruit other Palestinians to join Hamas and travel to Sudan for military training. Before he could make the trip to the African country, Sa’ad was arrested in a joint Shin Bet, Israel Police, and IDF operation.
During Sa’ad’s interrogation, he also revealed that Hijaz planned to send a messenger to Sa’ad with four guns with which to carry out attacks.
The Shin Bet emphasized that this incident is the latest in a series of Palestinians released in the Shalit deal returning to terrorist activities, and trying to free other militants. In March 2013, a Palestinian man was arrested for meeting with Amir Dukan, also released in the bargain, who offered him $60,000 to carry out an attack near Nablus.
“Recently, there has been a considerable rise in activity by those released in the ‘Shalit Deal,’ ” said the Shin Bet in a statement. “This is a blatant violation of the agreement.”