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March 29, 2013 10:55 am

Extensive Terror Network Uncovered Near Bethlehem

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The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), in cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police, broke up an extensive terror network in the village of Beit Fajjar near Bethlehem over the course of January and February, Israel Hayom reported.

The detained suspects were members of Tanzim, a terrorist group affiliated with the Fatah movement. The detainees allegedly took part in series of shooting and firebomb attacks on the Migdal Oz community in the Gush Etzion area. No one was wounded in the attacks.

During questioning, the suspects admitted to conducting the attacks and said they had planned to carry out additional shooting attacks in the Gush Etzion area, which were thwarted by their arrests.

The suspects were found in possession of six improvised weapons and a fake explosive device.

The Shin Bet said more than 30 suspects had been detained as part of the investigation. Among the leaders of the network were Rafat Mohammad Isa Takatka, 32, Rafat Mahmoud Musa Hian, 31, and Anas Halami Taleb Takatka, 24.

Charges filed against the suspects include shooting toward a person, throwing an incendiary object, manufacturing weapons and membership in an illegal organization. According to the Shin Bet, there has recently been a significant rise in terrorist activity in Beit Fajjar. So far, more than 50 Beit Fajjar residents have been arrested as part of anti-terror efforts.

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