Three Hamas terrorists who planned to kidnap, among others, Likud MK Yehuda Glick, were indicted Wednesday in an Israeli military court on a long list of security crimes. The arrests of the three were announced last week, as Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police forces tracked down the gang, which had been in the midst of advanced preparations for the operation.
Besides Glick, the gang, led by Muamad a-Shatya, a resident of the village of Tel near Shechem, planned to kidnap Avichai Edery, the IDF’s Arabic spokesperson. According to the indictment, a-Shatya searched online sources for information about the schedules of the two Israelis, and attempted to ascertain when they would be at specific places. He then tried to determine where the best opportunity to kidnap them would be, and attempted to procure documentation and transportation to enter Israel and carry out the plan.
When he realized the plan would be too difficult to carry out, a-Shatya settled for an alternative plan: capturing an Israeli civilian or IDF soldier for use as a bargaining chip to release terrorists from Israeli prisons. To that end, he recruited two other residents of the village, as well as several others, who were to assist with infrastructure and preparations for the operation.
In preparation for the operation, members of the gang spent an extensive time observing activities at bus stops and hitchhiking stands in the Shomron area. Among the plans was one in which a terrorist would dress up as Jewish residents and to persuade an Israeli to get into their vehicle. The victim would then be taken to a secret location in Shomron, where they would be held during negotiations with Israeli authorities. An alternative plan involved on in which an attack would be carried out at a bus stop in the Shechem area. Terrorists were to either open fire on individuals standing at the bus stop or carry out a car-ramming attack. The attack would result in deaths, the terrorists intended, and individuals who were not killed would be taken prisoner.
The Shin Bet said that it had discovered materials and weapons that were to be used in the attack. The members of the gang were arrested in mid-November, but details of the plot were not revealed until last week. The Shin Bet said it would continue to work to prevent attacks to Israeli civilians and soldiers throughout the country.