The cell was led by Muhammad-Ali Kawasmeh, 38. He is the brother of Hossam Qawasmeh, who masterminded the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrah in June 2014.
It emerged in the Shin Bet questioning of the suspects that two of them had allegedly driven on Highway 35 a number of times in search of the best spot to commit the attack, and actually purchased weapons – an M-16 rifle and a gun – that were found during questioning.
It was further revealed that Kawasmeh recruited logistical accomplices who were supposed to obtain a stolen vehicle for use in the attack and help the cell members hide.
A military court recently indicted the cell members for, among other charges, conspiracy to deliberately causing death and belonging to a terror cell connected to Hamas. The cell members are to remain under arrest until the end of legal proceedings.
On Thursday, it was cleared for publication that security forces had arrested six Hamas members who allegedly planned to kidnap and murder an Israeli, in a similar fashion to the 2014 kidnapping of the three teenagers.