Israeli forces arrested Ibrahim Abu Hijleh, one of the Palestinian prisoners exchanged in the deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in Ramallah overnight.
The story was first reported by the Maan News Agency.
According to a spokesman for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine – which was taken off the U.S. Department of State’s list of terrorist organizations in 1999 – Hiljeh is a member of the DFLP and the Palestinian National Council.
“The arrest comes in the context of the Israeli aggression against the destruction of the Palestinian people and is an attempt to break the will of this people and its leadership,” the spokesman said. “Especially since Abu Hijleh plays a leading role in political action and the Palestinian national cause, as well as his role in public events and campaigns of pro-movement captives.”
A report from the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism at Herzliyah University, written in 2003, notes that after his arrest in 2002, Hiljeh confessed to DFLP plans to kill Israeli leaders and conduct a suicide bomb attack.
“Abu Hijleh is a DFLP representative in the Palestinian National Council and his arrest by Israel was at the time condemned by the Palestinian Authority, who insisted that as ‘a member of the political echelon,’ he should be exempt from arrest,” reads a report written by Jonathan Fighel. “During his interrogation, Abu Hijleh revealed the organization’s plans to assassinate a military judge, to kill a former senior officer in the Israel Defense Forces and to carry out a suicide attack, using a suicide bomber with an Israeli identity card.”