The IDF has foiled a plan by terrorists to stab Jews in Gush Etzion, and of the two terrorists who were caught Tuesday is the nephew of one of the Hamas kidnap-murderers of three yeshiva youth last June.
Soldiers had been placed on high alert Monday after reports that the nephew, 34-year-old Mohammed abu Eisha, was reported missing.
Tuesday’s terrorists, one of them armed with a knife, were caught as they approached Tekoa located across the highway from Nokdim, the home of Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. A security officer at Tekoa was suspicious of the two men who were approaching the community, and he called the IDF, whose soldiers arrested them.
The security officer may have identified abu Eisha from pictures that Israel security personnel circulated Monday night.
Abu Eisha is from Hebron and the second terrorist, Jabrin Muntaz, 17, is from Yatta, a large city immediately to eh south of Hebron. They admitted they were planning to kill Jews.
Abu Eisha was part of the Hamas terror cell that kidnapped and murdered Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Shaar, last June.
Gush Etzion has become the most popular target for terrorists the past year. The three teenagers who were murdered fell into the hands of their Hamas captors west of the Gush Etzion junction.
Last month, there were at several terrorist attacks at or near the junction, including a hit-and-run attack and two stabbing attacks at the intersection, including the murder of Dalia Lemkus, 26, of Tekoa,
It is not clear why terrorists are targeting the area.
There usually are a number of Jews at the bus stop-hitchhiking station at the junction, but the IDF maintains a constant presence there. Furthermore, there are several smaller, more rural and less protected Jewish communities in the area.
Gush Etzion is home to a large number of English-speaking Israelis, particularly in Efrat, Alon Shvut and Neve Daniel.
The area is constantly mentioned as being in the “consensus” to be under Israeli sovereignty in the event of the creation of the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab country.
If terrorists can make life unbearable for Gush Etzion residents and create public pressure to remove it from the consensus, no other Jewish community in Judea and Samaria would stand a chance of remaining a home for Jews.