update desk

IDF busts cell responsible for Beitar Illit bomb plot

Six Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorists arrested • Cell, directed by leaders in Gaza and Lebanon, was planning additional attacks.

United Hatzalah personnel respond after a bomb was found on a bus in Beitar Illit, Gush Etzion, March 9, 2023. Credit: United Hatzalah.
United Hatzalah personnel respond after a bomb was found on a bus in Beitar Illit, Gush Etzion, March 9, 2023. Credit: United Hatzalah.

Israeli forces busted the Palestinian terrorist cell responsible for an attempted bombing earlier this year in Beitar Illit, authorities revealed on Monday.

Six terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), members of a student cell acting in the area of the Dheisha refugee camp and the villages of Batir and Beit Jala in the Bethlehem area were detained. They were identified as Wassam Oina, Ahmed Abu Naama, Mazen Abidallah, Muhammad Albarak, Rami Al Ahmar and Nur Mahmoud.

An Israeli woman was also arrested for transporting the would-be bomber on the day of the attack. But after it became clear that she was not aware of his intentions, the charges against her were reduced to transporting an illegal resident.

Authorities said the investigation led to the dismantlement of an extensive terrorist infrastructure that was directed by PFLP leaders based in the Gaza Strip as well as others already jailed in Israel.

The terrorists also received support from PFLP members in Lebanon.

On March 9, a terrorist planted an explosive device that failed to detonate on a bus in the haredi city located about 12 miles southwest of Jerusalem in Gush Etzion.

After smoke billowed from a black bag on a bus, officers neutralized the device. The man who placed the bag on the bus had already disembarked.

Israeli security officials issued a Red Alert warning of the infiltration at 10:20 p.m. as they began a large-scale search for the terrorist.

The following night, security forces arrested the primary suspect in the Palestinian village of Battir, some four miles northwest of Bethlehem.

According to authorities, the terrorists intended to perpetrate additional attacks and had acquired ammunition and bomb-making materials.

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