The thwarting of an alarming terror plot was cleared for publication on Thursday, almost three weeks after a joint Shin Bet and police operation led to the arrest of two Palestinian employees of the 'Grill Express' restaurant in Ramat Gan.
The men, Eihab Abu Rial and Anas Salum, both 21-year-old residents of the West Bank city of Nablus, had planned to lace dishes served at the establishment with a powerful toxin without odor or taste, in the hopes of killing as many patrons as possible.
Grill Express restaurant (Photo: Yaron Brenner)
The two did not have working permits and were residing in Israel illegally. While in Nablus, they had been recruited to the al-Aqsa Martyr's Bridges, the military wing of Fatah, under the guidance and funding of Hizbullah.
The men were arrested by police investigators following information obtained by the Shin Bet, several
short days before they planned to carry out the attack.
Toxin was to come from West Bank
In their questioning the men told interrogators they were to receive the poison from two operatives in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus – Husseini Salag and Hani Quabi – who are still wanted by security forces.
The white substance is virtually undetectable and affects its victims approximately four hours after being ingested.
Salag, they said, also sought to use them to bring a suicide bomber across the border.
Defense officials say they are concerned Quabi continues to seek the means to carry out an attack in Israel using illegal Palestinian residents.
A similar incident occurred five and a half years ago in Jerusalem. At the time, three Arab residents of east Jerusalem were arrested before their plan to poison Israeli patrons at the Rimon Café in central Jerusalem could be realized. The three had also planned to carry out a suicide bombing during a right-wing demonstration. The cell had been found to operating under Hamas.
Some four years ago a Fatah cell was arrested in Qalqiliya, the group had been planning to detonate an explosive device encased in HIV-infected blood in a crowded Tel Aviv area.