Terrorist released in Shalit deal thought behind wanted Hamas cell

Sources in the Palestinian Authority tell the Ynet news website that they believe a Gazan Hamas terror leader who previously served time is behind a cell thought to be responsible for a series of attacks on Israelis in the Ramallah area.

According to the report, Jasser Barghouti, originally from the West Bank town of Kobar, and released as part of the 2011 swap to free Gilad Shalit, is behind the so-called “West Bank group” terror cell thought responsible for deadly shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians near Ramallah.

Illustrative: Hamas members watch as a bus carrying Palestinian prisoners arrives at the Rafah crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on October 18, 2011. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Jasser’s nephew Salih Barghouti is thought to have been behind a shooting attack near Ofra in which seven civilians were injured, including a pregnant woman who lost her child. |He was killed during an arrest operation on Wednesday, and on Thursday, two soldiers were killed in a shooting attack near the Givat Assaf outpost, and Israeli forces are hunting for the terrorist.

Israeli troops search for the terrorists who committed a shooting attack on a bus stop outside the Ofra settlement in the West Bank, near Ramallah, in which seven Israelis were injured, including a pregnant woman, on December 9, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli military officials have said they believe both attacks were linked and were directed from Gaza.

Barghouti was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to nine life sentences for his part in terror attacks in which nine Israelis were killed during the Second Intifada.

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