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Terrorist released in hostage swap caught crossing into Israel

The 21-year-old resident of Beit Ur in Samaria tried to identify herself using Israeli identification documents belonging to someone else.

Freed Palestinian security prisoners arrive in Ramallah, Nov. 28, 2023. Credit: Flash90.
Freed Palestinian security prisoners arrive in Ramallah, Nov. 28, 2023. Credit: Flash90.

A former Palestinian security prisoner released in last year’s hostages-for-ceasefire deal with Hamas was detained while attempting to cross Israel’s pre-1967 lines using a fake ID card, police said on Sunday.

Border Police officers stationed at a security checkpoint near Jerusalem on Friday caught the woman, a 21-year-old resident of the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta near Ramallah in Samaria, attempting to identify herself using Israeli identification documents belonging to someone else.

According to police, officers subsequently realized that the suspect had been previously detained during violent riots in Samaria. During that incident, she was shot in the leg while throwing rocks at security personnel.

Police said the woman is affiliated with the Hamas terrorist organization and was released as part of the hostage agreement in November. The deal saw Israel release hundreds of female and teenage Palestinian security prisoners, in addition to pausing its military campaign in Gaza.

One hundred five Israeli hostages, mostly women and children, were released by Hamas as part of the ceasefire deal, which the terrorist group broke when it refused to hand over the last group of captives.

Late last month, Israeli police officers apprehended a resident of Khan Yunis in Gaza following a pursuit on Route 1, the main highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The 27-year-old suspect had stolen a motorcycle in Tel Aviv and was on his way to the capital city, arousing suspicions that he planned to flee to a Palestinian town in Judea or Samaria, Israel Hayom reported.

It was unclear when and how the suspect managed to enter the Jewish state from Khan Yunis, the Hamas terror stronghold in Gaza where the Israel Defense Forces has been mounting a massive military assault.

Some 3,000 terrorists infiltrated Israel from Gaza during Hamas’s invasion on Oct. 7, in addition to scores of Gaza residents who crossed the border fence that day. Israeli security forces killed around a thousand of the terrorists and captured many others.

In October, Israeli security forces arrested four Gazans who were hiding in Beersheva, approximately 25 miles from Gaza. Another Palestinian was caught near the city of Netivot, about eight miles from the Strip.

That same month, a Hamas terrorist who participated in the Oct. 7 massacre was caught while trying to return to Gaza. The member of the Nukhba commando forces that led the attack on northwestern Negev communities was exhausted after spending two weeks on the run, the IDF said.

In early November, police arrested 11 Palestinians from Gaza on suspicion of illegally residing in Israel during a raid of Al-Makassed Hospital on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. One of the detained individuals was the sister of a Hamas operative, according to police.

Less than a month before the Oct. 7 attacks, a Palestinian from Jabalia in northern Gaza was arrested at the Tel Aviv Savidor Central railway station while in possession of a 30-centimeter (11.8-inch) butcher’s knife. The suspect had a permit to work in Israel.

A day later, another Gaza resident was arrested at the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. The suspect was detained after security guards identified two knives hidden in his bag using scanners at the entrance to the facility.

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