TEL AVIV – Security authorities have uncovered a terror cell in the Balata and Askar refugee camps, in the West Bank town of Nablus, that was in the last stages of a plot to carry out suicide attacks in Israel.
Terror cell members were apprehended in recent weeks, but the story was only cleared for publication Wednesday.
Among those arrested are four recruiters and four 15-16 year old Palestinian boys, who were slated to serve as the suicide bombers in the planned attacks.
Authorities said the terror cell was directed from Lebanon by the Hizbullah.
Teen says he wanted to become a ‘martyr’
One of the minors apprehended, a 15-year-old boy, told interrogators he was recruited to carry out a suicide bombing. The teen approached a recruiter he knew and told him he was interested in detonating himself in Israel.
In response to the recruiter’s question regarding the motive that pushed the boy to volunteer, the teenager said he wanted to become a “martyr” like his friend Amar Alfar, who carried out the suicide attack in Tel Aviv’s Carmel market in November 2004.
Three Israelis were killed and 40 others were wounded in that bombing.
Another terrorist told interrogators he was videotaped reading out a will at a Nablus refugee
camp, a custom terror groups have adopted before sending out suicide bombers on their mission.
A minor from Askar admitted he had been recruited to carry out a suicide attack in Israel, but turned himself in at an IDF checkpoint because he feared that family's home would be demolished in return.
Also arrested was 17-year-old Balata resident Mahmad Hashash, who is suspected of recruiting local youths to carry out suicide attacks, including a 15-year-old boy who eventually attempted to blow himself up at an IDF checkpoint on May 22.
Soldiers detected the explosives he was carrying, and the attack was thwarted.