In the past few months the Shin Bet, along with IDF forces, apprehended members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) south of Mt. Hebron, it was cleared for publication Tuesday.
The 12 terror cell members said during their interrogation that they were directed by PFLP members in Gaza and plotted to carry out several attacks in Israel, including an attack on a synagogue in Modi’in.
They also plotted to kidnap American citizens in the West Bank in an attempt to later swap them for imprisoned PFLP Secretary-General Ahmed Saadat.
The Shin Bet got its first lead last February with the arrest of PFLP member Ramzi Sharona, who named his fellow terror cell members and told interrogators he was in close contact with leading group members in the Strip.
Those members, he said, were planning to establish additional cells in Nablus and Jenin and ordered Sharona to set up a cell in Hebron.
The PFLP members in Gaza later asked that he recruit a suicide bomber for an attack in a synagogue in Israel "to avenge the Jewish activities in the Temple Mount (Mugrabi Gate)”.
Sharona, who was an illegal worker at a construction site located near the synagogue in Modi’in, said he planned to blow up the structure when it was empty and then flee to Ramallah.
He also told interrogators he scouted out the synagogue as part of the preparations for the attack.
The investigation revealed that the PFLP cell attempted to kidnap an American citizen over a year ago, but the man resisted and was immediately set free.
The terrorists also plotted to carry out another attack in Modi’in, as well as stab and shoot at IDF soldiers in the Hebron area.
“The cell’s activity gives us further indication that terrorists in Gaza are behind terror in the West Bank,” a security official said.