by Hillel Fendel
Over the past few months, the Shabak (General Security Service) has captured members of a terrorist cell that planned to blow up a synagogue in Modiin and kidnap Americans in Judea and Samaria. Their goal was to bring about the release of Ahmed Saadat, the imprisoned head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Saadat ordered the assassination of Israeli cabinet minister and former IDF General Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001.
The leading cell member terrorist, Ramzi Hasin Sharauna, was arrested four months ago, and he informed the GSS interrogators of the ties he had formed with PFLP men in Gaza. They assigned him the mission of building a PFLP cell in the Hevron region, along the lines of those in Shechem and Jenin. Sharauna said he had also been assigned to find a suicide terrorist to blow up a synagogue in the city of Modiin, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. However, he volunteered to do the job himself, as he knew the area from his illegal work at a construction site nearby. He said that he later changed the plan, intending to blow up the building while it was empty, and then escape to Ramallah.
Sharauna's cell also planned to kidnap American volunteers, and hold them as ransom for the release of Saadat. The group actually kidnapped someone a year ago, but released him when he yelled out. Other attacks they planned included a shooting in Modiin, as well as shootings and stabbings in the vicinity of Hevron.
Twelve cell members have been arrested thus far. The Shabak announced that the terrorists' plans indicate the involvement of Gaza elements in perpetrating terrorism in Judea and Samaria.