The Shin Bet and Israel Police announced Tuesday that they had in recent weeks arrested a terrorist who planned to murder, among others, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat.
Mahmad Kamal Rashde, 30, had a long list of targets that he hoped to attack, and was in touch with foreign terror elements in order to carry out his plan.
Rashde, a resident of the Shuafat neighborhood of Yerushalayim, possesses an Israeli identification card, giving him free access to almost anywhere in the country. He was in contact with Syrian terror elements, who helped him plan the attacks. The Syrian terrorists had planned to bring some of their people into Israel via Jordan in order to help Rashde.
Besides Netanyahu and Barkat, Rashde planned to attack the U.S. Consulate in Yerushalayim, and a group of Canadians who were living in Yerushalayim, who were here to train Palestinian Authority police, he told investigators under questioning. Several other arrests have been made in the case, officials said.
Commenting on the arrests, Barkat said Tuesday that “the Shin Bet kept me updated on the details of the situation throughout the investigation. I knew they were involved, along with police, in tracking down the terrorists. Throughout the period when I was under threat I refused to change my regular routine, as we cannot allow terror to dictate our agenda. Those who believe they can change reality through terror must realize they are mistaken. Not only will they fail, but in the end they will be caught and punished. We, on the other hand, will continue to build and develop Yerushalayim and Israel, and no threat will stop us.”