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Palestinian indicted for planning terror attack in Rosh Ha’ayin

Suspect was arrested after walking around the central Israeli town for two hours with a loaded gun, according to indictment

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Border Police officers at the entrance to the settlement of Hashmonaim, where an armed Palestinian was arrested on February 9, 2018. (courtesy)
Illustrative. Border Police officers at the entrance to the settlement of Hashmonaim, where an armed Palestinian was arrested on February 9, 2018. (courtesy)

A Palestinian man was indicted Monday for illegally carrying a loading gun and planning to carry out a shooting attack with it in the central Israeli town of Rosh Ha’ayin in late September, police said.

A gag order was placed on the case, but it was rescinded after the suspect, Moataz Musa Hussein, was charged in a military court on Sunday.

According to police, officers were tipped off about Hussein’s plans to carry out an attack in Rosh Ha’ayin on September 29.

“Officers conducted searches during which they spotted the suspect. The officers approached him, subdued him and noticed that a loaded pistol, ammunition magazines and a box of bullets were hidden on him… Their effort effectively prevented the terror attack,” police said.

According to the charges against him, Hussein’s wife had recently died in a car accident and he decided to carry out an attack with the hope that at the end of it he would be killed by Israeli security forces.

Hussein entered Israel through a gap in the security fence and on September 29, he walked through Rosh Ha’ayin over the course of some two hours. He considered, but decided against shooting at least three different targets — a mother and her child, a father and his child, and a group of men — before he was eventually arrested, according to the indictment.

“Following his interrogation, the suspect admitted that he had planned to carry out a terror attack,” police said.

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