Security forces have thwarted a Hamas-funded attempt to kidnap soldiers in the West Bank and use them as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, it was cleared for publication Sunday.
The Shin Ben, aided by the Israel Prison Service, managed to stop the attempted kidnapping which was being planned by two terrorists serving time in an Israeli prison. The kidnapping was supposed to take place in the area between Nablus and the West Bank outpost of Yithzar in the Shomron region.
According to the Shin Bet, Abed Alrahaman and Otoman Waasem Zin a-Din, serving time in an Israel for their role in a 2006 shooting that killed a soldier, attempted to form a kidnapping cell which would kidnap a soldier with the help of additional security prisoner, once they were released.
The Shin Bet further claims that Hamas agreed to fund them operation, and the money was supposed to be transferred through a Saudi national. The funds were to be used to buy arms and train operatives for the operation while still in jail. The mission was supposed to take place upon their impending release from the Israeli prison.
A relative of one of the two was enlisted for the kidnapping mission, and his role was to find a hiding place, steal a car, purchase the arms and knock-out drugs.
The Shin Bet further said that the communications between the group were undertaken via mobile phones smuggled into the prison; as well as letters sent to through family members visiting in the jail.
All in all six men, at least three of which are still in jail, are being indicted at the Salem Military Court.
The Shin Bet noted that the attempt to kidnap soldiers joins a list of additional such attempts planned in the West Bank in recent years; like the case of Tomer Hazan from Bat Yam whose murders were convicted last week.