The Shin Bet announced Wednesday that it had arrested a cell of four Palestinians, including three minors, who had perpetrated four shooting attacks in the West Bank.
The Israeli secret service said that the arrests had been made in conjunction with the Border Police and IDF and that family members had also been arrested on suspicion of hiding the weapons used in the attacks. The cell had apparently carried out four shootings near the West Bank settlement of Ofra during October and November, using locally-made weapons.
“The activity of the cell demonstrates the high threat level of a terrorist cell with access to weapons and the ability to manufacture weapons,” the Shin Bet said in a statement. “The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and Israel Police, will continue to work in order to uncover and foil terrorist activities.”
In another incident, a Palestinian attacker attempted to stab Israelis at a West Bank junction Thursday morning. The incident took place at the Tapuach Junction near Nablus, which has been a flashpoint for knife and vehicle attacks during the past year or so. Initial reports suggest that the attacker was an 18-year-old from Qalqilya, who exited a bus and advanced towards Border Police before attempting to stab them. He was reportedly shot and killed at the scene.
In recent months, Israeli forces have cracked down on Palestinian weapons-manufacturing facilities. Since October 2015, at least 42 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks, many carried out by individuals with relatively easy access to weapons.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry announced Wednesday that two Palestinians were killed when a tunnel they were constructing collapsed in the Shejaiya neighbourhood in the northern Gaza Strip. They were named as Ismail Shmali and Rami al-Areir, both in their twenties and thought to be Hamas operatives.
Hamas is openly reconstructing the tunnel network used to attack Israeli targets during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. There have been several deaths due to this work and subsequent collapsing tunnels during the past several months.
[Photo: BICOM ]