Shin Bet thwarts terror attack aimed at releasing Palestinian prisoners
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Shin Bet thwarts terror attack aimed at releasing Palestinian prisoners

PFLP cell allegedly plotted to kidnap soldiers in the West Bank and trade them for high-profile detainees, including PFLP head Ahmad Sadat

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

A Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) rally in Gaza City in 2010. (photo credit: Mustafa Hassona/Flash90)
A Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) rally in Gaza City in 2010. (photo credit: Mustafa Hassona/Flash90)

Israeli security in May thwarted a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist attack that had been designed to pressure Israel into releasing Palestinian security prisoners. The Shin Bet security agency approved the publication of the story on Monday.

According to the Shin Bet, a PFLP cell of four Palestinians from villages around Ramallah and Jerusalem plotted a terrorist shooting and kidnapping in May. Their alleged objective was to pressure Israel to release Palestinian security detainees  — particularly PFLP leader Ahmad Sadat — amid hunger strikes in Israeli prisons. They purportedly scouted out the Maccabim and Jaba checkpoints in order to target Israeli soldiers.

The four men were identified as Salem Badi Salem Dirdisawi, 40; Ahmed Mehmed Diab Sheikh, 20; Yussuf Ahmed Mehmed Alian, 22; and Jissan Hussam Hassan Karaja, also 22.

The Shin Bet, IDF, and Israel Police reportedly found in their possession an AK-47, an M-16, a Glock pistol, a Jericho pistol, and an MP-5 submachine gun, all of which belonged to Alian in his capacity as a Palestinian Authority police officer. An additional Kalashnikov and ammunition were found at Dirdisawi’s home.

The Judea Military Court recently received their charge sheets for possession of weaponry and intent to kill. The court approved the detention of the four men until the end of legal proceedings.

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