Syria-backed Islamic Jihad cell captured

Islamic Jihad terrorists attend a funeral in the Gaz Strip. (Flash 90)

JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—Ten members of an Islamic Jihad terrorist cell that planned to attack and to kidnap soldiers were captured in recent months, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Thursday, after a gag order was lifted in the case.

The cell members were captured in a joint IDF-Shin Bet operation near Jenin. The Shin Bet said the cell was financed by Islamic Jihad in Syria, which sent money to purchase weapons and explosives.

The terrorist cell also had ties with Islamic Jihad in Gaza and with the NGO Soul of Jerusalem, which is sponsored by the Islamic Jihad and is outlawed in Israel.

Along with the cell the security forces seized a kilogram of potassium used to make bombs, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, some 150 bullets, and NIS 2,000.

The 10 were indicted last month, but the proceedings were subject to a court ordered blackout.  

During interrogation, the suspects confessed to establishing a cell in northern Samaria to carry out shooting attacks against settlers and IDF patrols and to kidnap an Israeli civilian or soldier to use as a hostage for securing the release of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.

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