RAMALLAH — An Israeli military court on Monday indicted four Palestinians for planning to shoot and kidnap Israelis for future prisoners swap deals.
The four, members of a cell affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have been charged with conspiracy to fire at a person and possession of weapons.
The Israeli internal spy agency Shin Bet said that the four were arrested before managing to carry out their plan. The four were found in possession of many weapons, the Shin Bet cleared for publication on Monday It added that that its agent and the Israeli army and police uncovered the cell in May.
The Shin Bet statement ended a protracted media blackout on the arrest of the four PFLP members.
The Israeli Army Radio identified the four as Salim Al-Dirdisawi from the West Bank city of Ramallah, Ahmed Diab Al-Sheikh and Yousef Ollayan from the town of Anata and Ghassan Karajeh from the village of Saffa.
According to the indictment, the four were planning shooting and abduction attacks in West Bank roads and Israeli checkpoints against Israeli civilians or army personnel in order to bargain the release of Palestinian prisoners, chiefly Ahmed Sa’adat, the jailed PFLP’s secretary-general.
Sa’adat is serving a 30 years imprisonment term in Israeli jails for overseeing the PFLP’s military operations, membership in an illegal organization, arms dealing and incitement.
He was indicted in military court in 2006 of being behind the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001.
The PFPL’s leader has been in solitary confinement since March 2009. The Israeli Prison Service deprives him from family visitations since that time.
According to recent Palestinian statistics, Israel is holding 4,423 Palestinians in 23 prisons and detention camps in Israel and in the West Bank. There are 7 females and 24 legislators from Hamas, Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had repeatedly said the Palestinians will not sign any final peace agreement before Israel shuts down all its prisons and releases all the Palestinian prisoners, which were rejected by Israel.