Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90
Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar

Shin Bet intelligence agents and Israeli police have foiled the plans of a newly-developed terrorist cell that aimed to murder government cabinet minister Itamar Ben Gvir, and attack Ben Gurion International Airport, Haifa and other sites.

Indictments were filed Thursday morning at the Beersheba District Court against the suspects, who included seven Israeli Arabs and four Palestinian Authority citizens. The case was investigated by the General Security Service (Shin Bet) and the Negev Regional Police in the Southern District of the Israel Police.


The Israeli Arab suspects included Bilal Nassara, the head of the cell, from Rahat; Wissam Siwati, from Rahat; Hamza Ghaith, from Rahat; Saud Abu Laban, from Rahat; Sameh al-Obra, from Rahat; Yousef Abu Hawli, from Lod; and Fahmi Kathani, from Ma’ale Iron.

The Palestinian Authority suspects were identified as Akram Ammer, responsible for recruitment, from Tulkarem; Muhammad Sabheh, from Tulkarem; Ahmed Atiq, from Jenin; and Ahmed Saleh, from Jenin.

The terror cell planned to carry out an attack in Kiryat Arba, home to Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, in addition to planning attacks on IDF military bases, a government complex in Jerusalem and other sensitive sites during Israel’s Independence Day celebrations.

The cell also planned to attack the Rafael defense contractor’s facility, kidnap a Druze Israeli from the Galilee and hijack a bus of soldiers from the central station bus in Be’er Sheva for transport to Gaza.

The cell planned to assassinate Ben-Gvir with the use of an RPG missile, according to the Shin Bet, which said the cell also planned to abduct IDF soldiers to use as bargaining chips to free security prisoners held by Israel.

The terrorists planned to rent a plot of land in the southern Israeli Bedouin city of Rahat, or at a site in the Palestinian Authority, for the purpose of building a factory with an underground complex where they train for the attacks and manufacture weapons, the Shin Bet said.

According to the agency, at least one of the Palestinian Authority detainees was in contact with a Hamas operative in Gaza, who offered to provide the money for the attacks in Israel.

The suspects are charged with conspiring to aid the enemy in the war; carrying out operations to produce weapons for terrorist purposes; attempt to traffic in weapons for terrorist purposes; preparations for committing a terrorist murder; preparation for terrorism activities; attempting to operate on property for terrorist purposes; unlawful presence in Israel and weapons offenses.

Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir released a statement in response to the arrests [translated]:

“I want to thank the Israel Police, the General Security Service, all the security forces and everyone who participated in the arrest, investigation and prosecution of those who planned to assassinate me with an RPG.

I say to those terrorists: I will not be deterred. I will continue to lead the Israel Police to a determined policy against terrorism, zero tolerance towards the instigators. I will continue to lead the prison service to firm action against the security prisoners, against the terrorists. Summer camp is over in Israeli prisons, we will make the conditions even harsher for those who want to harm the State of Israel.

And I say, we will also continue to demand that the Prime Minister enter Rafah, do root canal there, do thorough work also in Rafah, also throughout Judea and Samaria, bring back targeted killing and pursue those terrorists – I will not hesitate!”


Previous articleIsrael Uses Gaza Fatah Terrorists to Secure Aid
Next articleWashington Could Remove Houthis from Global Terror List, US Envoy Says
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.