PA Arab Planned Shootings, Kidnappings With Hezbollah

YERUSHALAYIM -
Hezbollah members at a rally in the southern Lebanese village of Ansar. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari, File)

A resident of the Palestinian Authority town of Kalkilya has been arrested on charges of working on behalf of Hezbollah, Israeli officials said on Thursday. Yussuf Yasser Swilam, 23, was involved in planning numerous terror attacks, and had also planned to kidnap an IDF soldier.

Under questioning, Swillam disclosed the plans he had collaborated with Hezbollah terrorists to carry out. He told investigators that he approached the terror group via its profile page on a large social media site, set up specifically to recruit potential terrorists. As he got more involved with the group, he began using encryption to mask messages he sent and received from Hezbollah.

Swillam was instructed to take photos and gather information on the location and activities at IDF bases, checkpoints, and other facilities, gathering information that the terror group planned to use to kidnap soldiers and carry out terror attacks at times when large groups of soldiers were at specific locations. Later he was instructed to begin recruiting terrorists who would help him carry out shooting attacks and kidnappings of soldiers, officials said. Swillam was indicted Thursday in the Shomron district military court.