Israel has in recent weeks rounded up 50 Palestinian terror suspects, including those believed to have murdered 17-year-old Rina Shnerb in an attack at a West Bank tourist spot in August, the Shin Bet security service announced Wednesday.
The detained men belong to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and plotted to carry out "major terrorist attacks," the Shin Bet said, following the joint operation with the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police.
Rina was killed, her 19-year-old brother Dvir was seriously wounded and her father Eitan was lightly hurt when they were hit by an improvised explosive device as they were visiting the Danny Spring - named for another Israeli terror victim - near the West Bank settlement of Dolev.
The Shin Bet named the three terrorists involved in Shnerb's murder as:
∙ Samar Arbid: A 44-year-old resident of Ramallah, formerly jailed in Israel for his involvement with the PFLP. He was the leader of the terror cell, in charge of its logistical and recruitment operations, including detonating the bomb that killed Shnerb
∙ Yazan Magamas: A 24-year-old resident of Birzeit, who was involved in several other terrorist attacks
∙ Qasam Shibli: A 25-year-old resident of Kobar who was involved in several other terrorist strikes
The cell operated in close coordination, succeeding in carrying out the attack that killed Shnerb with a level of sophistication almost unheard of since the end of the Second Intifada some than a decade ago.
The attack included planting a bomb near the spring, detonating it from afar and then fleeing the scene while evading security cameras.
The charge was quite small, but its location made it extremely lethal.
The 50-strong terror network was uncovered by the Shin Bet in September, as its members were planning further terrorist attacks in the Ramallah area.
Most were arrested in recent weeks and interrogated by the Shin Bet.
According to the security service, the interrogatees provided credible information that led to the discovery and confiscation of "several deadly weapons belonging to the PFLP." These included M16 and AK-47 semi-automatic rifles, Galil assault rifles, Carbine rifles, Uzi submachine guns, pistols, silencers, ingredients to make bombs, assorted ammunition and communications devices.
Most of the firearms were found at the home of a relative of Samar Arbid.
"This intelligence work has foiled terror attacks on the verge of execution," said a Shin Bet official.
"If we haven't arrived at the scene, the PFLP would have launched these attacks, killing dozens of people.
"The large number of firearms we found and information we received illustrate the dangers at hand and the high level of readiness to perpetrate terrorist attacks," he said.