The Israel Defense Forces busted a terror cell that planned to abduct a soldier and hold him in exchange for the release of a Palestinian prisoner held in Israel, security forces announced on Monday.
The two members of the cell were arrested in village of Hizma, north of Jerusalem, in May, but the arrest was kept under gag order until now, when the investigation was complete, the police said in a press release.
The two were hoping to kidnap a soldier and use him as leverage to win freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Sa’adat was imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority in 2002 and transferred to an Israeli prison in 2006.
On Monday the two would-be kidnappers were charged in a military court.
According to Channel 10, the cell contained two members, who were close to kidnapping a woman in the Ma’aleh Adumim area, but decided to abduct a soldier instead. The two had considered carrying out their plan within the Green Line but decided to stay in the Jerusalem area, which was more familiar area to them.
The arrest of the cell members “ended their continued attempts to kidnap an Israeli,” the Shin Bet said, noting that they had set out for the mission more than once, failing only because “they didn’t find a target.”