Wednesday, May 22nd | 17 Iyyar 5779

March 10, 2017 7:30 am

Hezbollah Continues Recruiting Palestinians to Kill Israelis

avatar by Steven Emerson

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A katyusha rocket launched by Hezbollah into Israel during the Second War in Lebanon. Photo: Wikipedia.

A katyusha rocket launched by Hezbollah into Israel during the Second War in Lebanon. Photo: Wikipedia.

The Shin Bet — Israel’s domestic security agency — recently arrested a Palestinian member of Hezbollah for planning terrorist attacks against Israelis.

During the investigation, the Shin Bet learned that Hezbollah recruited the terrorist — Yusef Yasser Suylam — via Facebook. Suylam hails from the West Bank town of Qalqiliya.

Investigators say that Suylam was establishing a cell devoted to kidnapping Israeli civilians. Hezbollah also directed Suylam to conduct surveillance of Israeli military bases and other security sites, along with various locations in Jerusalem.

Over the years, Hezbollah has tried to establish a West Bank foothold to carry out terrorist and kidnapping attacks against Israelis. Members of Hezbollah’s Unit 133 external operations branch have used social media, particularly Facebook, to recruit West Bank Palestinians.

Last August, a Shin Bet investigation disrupted a terror cell that was recruited though the “Palestine the Free” Facebook page featuring. In that case, cell leader Mustafa Kamal Hindi recruited other operatives in hopes of waging an attack against the Israeli military. Each operative was between 18-22 years old and lived in Qalqiliya.

One of the cell members purchased the materials required to build a suicide bomb, while another was tasked with building the explosive device. Another terrorist focused on garnering intelligence about IDF patrols in the area, and the group had been engaged in extensive rifle training.

The characteristics, modus operandi and recruitment methods of Hindi’s cell bear striking similarities to the recently disrupted Hezbollah cell.

In January 2016, a Shin Bet investigation found that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s son, Jawan, used social media to recruit terrorists in the West Bank. In that case, cell leader Muhammad Zaghloul received instructions for carrying out suicide-bombing attacks from Jawan Nasrallah.

Click here to read more details about other Hezbollah attempts at recruiting Palestinians to conduct terrorist attacks against Israelis.

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