Israeli security services broke up a Palestinian terror cell in Judea and Samaria directed by a Lebanon-based activist, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed on Tuesday.
A number of Palestinian Authority residents were arrested in recent months who were planning to shoot Israelis. The Palestinians were being instructed by Alam Kaabi, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.
Kaabi, originally from Nablus, was deported to the Gaza Strip as part of the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange agreement and currently resides in Lebanon, where as part of his role he recruits Palestinian terrorists, including some members of his family, to carry out attacks.
The operation was uncovered during an investigation by the Shin Bet and the Israel Defense Forces.
Palestinians recruited by Kaabi included Marad Kaabi, a relative and resident of the Balata refugee camp on the outskirts of Nablus. Two M-16 rifles were confiscated during the probe of Marad Kaabi.
Khaled Abu al-Hijaa was also arrested. He said that he was recruited to lead the Judea and Samaria terror cell.
Both suspects have been indicted for terrorist offenses in the Samaria Military Court.
Judea and Samaria have seen an uptick in Palestinian terrorism this year, with the number of shootings already surpassing last year’s total, according to data published last month.
In the first six months of 2023, the Rescuers Without Borders (Hatzalah Judea and Samaria) emergency service recorded 3,640 acts of terrorism throughout Israel, including 2,118 cases of rock-throwing, 799 attacks with Molotov cocktails, 18 attempted stabbings and six car-rammings.
The number of shootings has already surpassed last year’s total, with 101 instances of gunfire directed at Israelis reported. Hatzalah’s figures do not include the hundreds of attacks on security personnel during counterterrorism operations in Palestinian villages.
Palestinian terrorists have killed 28 people and wounded 362 others since January, the organization said.
In the past few months, Palestinian terrorists have also tried to fire homemade rockets at Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.