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Shin Bet Announces Arrest of Largest PFLP Cell in West Bank

Shin Bet Announces Arrest of Largest PFLP Cell in West Bank

Thursday, 19 December, 2019 - 07:45
Israeli security forces remove the body of a Palestinian near the West Bank city of Hebron September 16, 2016. (File Photo: Reuters)

Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service said that it had arrested in the West Bank the largest military cell of the Popular Front (PFLP), which belongs to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).


It announced that in recent months it had uncovered a wide and organized infrastructure of activists of the Popular Front, which carried out a bomb attack in Ein Bubin, where Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb was killed and her brother and father were injured.


A Popular Front cell launched an attack on Aug. 23 in Ein Bubin, near a settlement close to Ramallah, and detonated an explosive device that resulted in deaths and injuries. According to information, 50 activists in the Popular Front were subsequently arrested.


Investigations revealed that this cell was behind many armed attacks and that it was planning to carry out more large-scale operations.

All detainees were questioned by senior leaders of the Shin Bet security service in the West Bank.

Israeli reports said that around 50 activists were arrested and interrogated by senior Shin Bet commanders, which yielded information that led to the detection and seizure of numerous weapons.

A statement by the Shin Bet said those responsible for the armed operation in Ein Bubin were Samer Arbid, 44, from Ramallah, a former prisoner who is the head of the cell; Yazen Mghames, 24, a resident of Bir Zeit; and 25-year-old Qasim Shibli, a resident of the village of Kober.


According to the statement, the investigation uncovered the identity of “other PFLP officials involved in the attack, including senior officials of the organization who had directed the cell.”


The Shin Bet said that the PFLP, which was considered a “small” organization, was active during the second Intifada, but its activities diminished in recent years, before emerging again in the recent operation near Ramallah.

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