The Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) revealed on Tuesday that it recently uncovered and foiled a terrorist plot to kidnap Israeli citizens.
The group, identified as the “Holy Warriors Brigades,” was comprised of five Palestinians coordinating from Hebron and Gaza. The Shin Bet reasoned that the group sought to use the abducted Israelis as bargaining chips to obtain the release of Palestinian prisoners, including one of the plotters – Ibrahim Animat. Animat is serving a life sentence for raping and murdering an Israeli woman in 2010.
“The Holy Warriors Brigades” originated in Fatah’s military wing, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, but splintered off in 2007. Since then, the group has been funded by Hamas. According to the Shin Bet, it is headed Assad Ibrahim abu Shariya, whose imprisoned brother, Omar, hatched the plan with fellow inmates that have since been released.
The Shin Bet stated that the group, which has been responsible for a number of terrorist attacks against Israelis in recent years, planned to abduct Israelis sometime in the coming weeks.
The revelation is particularly disturbing because Israel recently agreed to ease restrictions on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails so that they would end their hunger strike. An explicit term of the agreement required the prisoners to sign a pledge to forswear terrorist activity.