Israel authorities took the wraps off a gag order Sunday to reveal that an Islamic Jihad terrorist cell was arrested last month on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv.
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and Border Police rearrested the cell five weeks ago at a checkpoint east of Kfar Saba, which is a stone’s throw from the Palestinian Authority city of Kalkilya.
The terrorists included two Arabs from the Israel city of Lod, near Ben Gurion Airport, and five others from Palestinian Authority villages. They were planning to kidnap IDF soldiers as bargaining chips for the release of jailed terrorists, a method that worked wonders for Hamas.
Israel last year caved into Hamas’ demands and released kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit five years after he was taken hostage. In return for Shalit, the government freed more than 1,000 terrorists, many of whom have gone back to their favorite pastime of planning to kill Jews. Some have succeeded.
The Islamic Jihad kidnap plan was foiled after a lengthy investigation, which led police and security personnel to arrest three terrorists in their car, in which there was rope, a knife and tape, presumably to be used to gag the mouth of the intended victims. Eight other terrorists also were arrested later.
One of those arrested is an Arab with Israeli citizenship living in Umm-al-Fahm, a city northeast of Netanya and the home of the northern branch of the radical Islamic Movement.
A tip-off of the terrorists’ plans may have come from intended victims, who refused offers for a “free ride” from bus and train stations. Had they accepted, they would have found themselves in a hell-hole in Jenin, once known as the terror capital of Israel.
That title is now shared with dozens of hotspots not only in Judea and Samaria but also, it seems, in Israel’s urban areas.