Security service arrests terror cell members who attempted to kidnap Israelis in West Bank in order to use them as bargaining chips in prisoner exchanges
Nine Palestinians from the Ramallah area have been charged with attempting to kidnap Israelis, it was cleared for publication on Sunday.
The Shin Bet internal security service said in a statement that in mid-March the Palestinians tried to kidnap a mother and her baby daughter near the West Banksettlement of Beit El.
The terror cell members were arrested by the Shin Bet with the help of Israel Police and the IDF. According to the Shin Bet, the terrorists were behind a number of attempts to kidnap Israelis. The terrorists planned to use the Israelis as bargaining chips in prisoner exchanges.
Security officials said that in March the terrorists traveled in rented vehicles in the Binyamin region to try and kidnap Israelis. Their attempts failed.
On March 15, shortly after midnight, they attacked an Israeli woman who was travelling with her baby daughter from Givat Assaf to Beit El. The terrorists blocked the woman’s car and shattered its windshield with blunt objects, but they fled the scene when another Israeli vehicle approached.
Three days prior to that incident the terrorists attacked a female driver who was travelling along the road leading to the Ma’ale Levona settlement. They shattered the vehicle’s windshield, but the woman managed to flee the scene in her car.
Some 24 hours earlier the terrorists attacked an Israeli man who travelling towards Kiryat Sefer. They tried to pull the man out of the vehicle, but he managed to escape.
The terror cell was headed by Mouhmad Ramdan (22) of al-Bira. Some of the terrorists, who are affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, are being held in Israel, while others are in the custody of the Palestinian Authority.
As part of their plan to kidnap Israelis, the terrorists purchased an electric shocker, tear gas, clubs and a lighter shaped like a pistol. According to the Shin Bet, the terrorists also used lookouts who warned them of approaching Israeli vehicles.
The terrorists planned to hide their hostages in caves or in safe houses in Ramallah. They also planned to film the kidnappings and post the footage online.
In another incident, the Palestinians noticed two Israeli hitchhikers at a gas station in Mishor Adumim. One of the hitchhiker’s was about to enter the terrorists’ car when his friend stopped him.
Earlier this month indictments were filed against Ramdan and other suspected terror cell members at a military court.
By Yoav Zitun