The Shin Bet reported on Tuesday that a terrorist cell in Samaria aiming to carry out attacks in Israel had been found and dispersed as a result of a combined operation with the IDF carried out over the previous few months.
A member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Lebanon led the cell. Aalam Qaabi, a Shechem-based activist for the Popular Front, led the cell, which included other Palestinians who reside in Samaria.
To target Israelis, Qaabi had recruited would-be terrorists, including members of his own family. In order to obtain the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had spent five years in Hamas captivity in Gaza, he was deported to Gaza in 2011.
Some of the Palestinian detainees were detained on accusations of encouraging terrorist activity, while others were accused of planning terrorist strikes.
One of the suspects, Mared Qaabi, a relative of Aalam, claimed during questioning that Qaabi gave him orders to carry out a shooting attack with an M16 assault rifle that was in his possession.
Khaled Abu Alhija, another suspect, claimed he was given the responsibility of organizing and supervising a terror unit that would conduct operations around Jenin. In a military court, both men were charged.
The Shin Bet, the IDF, and the Israel Police will continue to prevent terrorism, even when it is committed by Palestinian residents acting under the direction of outside terror actors.