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October 21, 2016 10:30 am

Israeli Security Services Thwart Major Palestinian Terror Plot

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Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha. Photo: Shin Bet.

Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha. Photo: Shin Bet. – Israeli security officials revealed on Thursday that they had averted a major terrorist attack and arrested those who plotted to carry it out.

According to a statement released by the Shin Bet, Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha, a resident of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, was arrested as he attempted to enter Israeli territory at the Erez Crossing Sept. 21.

“During his interrogation, it was learned that he led a terrorist cell guided by Islamic jihad in the Gaza Strip, and had been planning to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack at a wedding hall in the south and to abduct and murder an IDF soldier for bargaining purposes,” the statement said.

Abu Taha said he had recruited three other Palestinian men living in Southern Israel to assist in the attack, and they were also arrested.

“This grave case underscores – again – the efforts of Gaza Strip-based terrorists to carry out murderous attacks in Israel, in addition to their activities in the Strip,” Shin Bet stated. “The case also reiterates the manner in which terrorists will exploit humanitarian and economic permits to enter Israel, as well as the risk posed by Palestinians present in Israel illegally.”

In a separate recent incident, an Arab-Israeli couple from the town of Sakhnin was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport upon returning from Iraq, where they had taken their three children and joined ISIS, security officials said, explaining: “In their interrogation, it was learned that before leaving [Israel] they had been exposed to ISIS videos and were deeply influenced.”

Last week, security officials announced the arrest and indictment of Muhammad Fauaz Ibrahim Joulani, a 22-year-old resident of Shuafat in east Jerusalem, for planning a suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus.

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