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May 25, 2012 7:00 am

Palestinian Terrorists Intensify Efforts to Abduct Israelis

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Tunnel used to attempt to kidnap soldiers uncovered by IDF forces in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. Photo: wiki commons.

Several Palestinian terrorist cells were apprehended near Hebron recently, and one of them had been planning to abduct an Israeli in Kiryat Arba, on the outskirts of Hebron, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) officials said May 23, according to Israel Hayom.

The disclosure followed the lifting of a gag order in the case. It also followed a report that the agency had exposed another group that had tried to abduct an Israeli in the Binyamin region of Judea and Samaria.

The cell planning the Kiryat Arba abduction included three Hamas members from Hebron. The group’s leader was Matiz Suliman Mahmad Qawasmeh, 21, who has been imprisoned by Israel several times over terrorist-related activities, including having helped his brother transport the terrorists who carried out a suicide bombing in Dimona in February 2008 in which an Israeli woman was killed.

Qawasmeh recruited two of his friends for the planned Kiryat Arba abduction and, in preparation, detonated several explosive devices along the security fence around Kiryat Arba to test the Israeli military’s reaction and observe its operational procedures.

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