The terror cell also planned an assault on U.S. consulate buildings and a Canadian delegation in Jerusalem.
Benjamin Netanyahu Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90
The Shin Bet revealed on Tuesday that a terror cell conspiring to assassinate senior Israeli officials was arrested. The terrorists received instructions from Syria and planned to target Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and others. Indictments against the terror cell members were submitted last Sunday.
During the Shin Bet operation to thwart the plot, Mahmoud Jamal Rashda from East Jerusalem was arrested. Rashda, who holds a valid identity card because he is an Israeli citizen, previously served a prison sentence in Israel. He received orders from a terrorist in Syria and also planned to carry out terror attacks against U.S. consulate buildings in Jerusalem and a Canadian delegation visiting Jerusalem as part of a training program for the Palestinian Authority security forces. Rashda and the other terrorists in the cell also planned to recruit a terrorist from Jordan.
In accordance with the instructions from Syria, Rashda had collected intelligence on the targets, and additional information gathered from the other arrested cell members has confirmed these details.
In a statement, Barkat praised the Shin Bet for thwarting the terror plot. “The Shin Bet is among the best in the world,” he said. “Throughout the investigation, I was updated and I knew that when the Shin Bet is in the picture and the Israel Police is on the ground, I can trust them and go to sleep with a calm mind and safely. During this period, I insisted on not changing anything in my daily routine because we cannot allow terrorism to dictate our schedule.”