Two members of a terrorist cell linked to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, arrested in Jericho recently on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack, are affiliated with the Palestinian Authority, according to a Channel 12 news report which aired Thursday night.
The report, which did not cite a source, said one of the two is a senior PA security official.
The pair were named as Majed Abu-Shakar, a captain in the PA’s National Security Forces, and Jasser Dwikat, a Fatah member whose father is a major general in the PA security forces. A third suspect was arrested inside Israel, the report said.
The members of the cell had purchased weapons and were planning an attack against Israelis in the West Bank or inside Israel, according to the report. They were recruited and being instructed by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, named by the TV network as Izzat Al-Aktash.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad has a stronger foothold in the Gaza Strip, where it is often responsible for firing rockets and missiles into Israel. Israeli security forces fear that the terrorist group could be making further inroads into the West Bank and recruiting operatives there.
Five of the six Palestinian security prisoners who masterminded a successful jailbreak from Israel’s Gilboa Prison last month — before being recaptured — are Islamic Jihad members, and several terrorist attacks and attempted attacks were carried out in the days and weeks following the incident.