April 4, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Apprehends Terror Cell That Plotted Attacks on Government Official

April 4, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Apprehends Terror Cell That Plotted Attacks on Government Official

Latest Developments

Israeli forces busted a terrorist cell that plotted an attack on a government official, the Israel Security Agency (ISA), also known as the Shin Bet, said on April 4. The operation “exposed the terrorist infrastructure consisting of Arab Israelis and Palestinians from the West Bank,” Israeli media outlet i24 reported. The men sought to assassinate Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir as well as target Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.

“Following an investigation, the ISA together with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the police arrested 11 suspects. Among them were seven Arab-Israelis, mostly from the southern Bedouin city of Rahat,” i24 reported. Israel identified Bilal Nassara of Rahat as the leader of the terror cell. “Akram Amer, a resident of Tulkarm, was identified as responsible for recruiting operatives in the West Bank,” i24 added. The group also sought to contact Hamas for support. The planned attack is one of several plots in the West Bank that Israel has foiled since the Hamas massacre of October 7.

Expert Analysis

“Israel is facing increasing terror threats, including lone wolf attacks as well as small terror cells in Israeli communities, including Jerusalem and the West Bank, that seek to ally themselves with Hamas, ISIS, or other groups. The threats illustrate how the Hamas attack on October 7 is being exploited by extremist groups, including groups backed by Iran, to sow chaos and destruction throughout the Middle East. Israel’s security efforts against these groups should be supported and the rising terror threat in the region must be taken seriously.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Since the escalation of violence in Israel and the West Bank in 2021, there has been a dramatic rise in acts of terrorism targeting Israelis. These attacks have been carried out by suspects affiliated with established terrorist organizations as well as individuals with no known ties to any specific terror group. This highlights the challenging task faced by Israel’s security forces in thwarting attacks from a diverse range of perpetrators.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Israel Thwarts ISIS Plot in Jerusalem

The Jerusalem District Police and ISA also thwarted ISIS attacks in Jerusalem, according to an April 4 report in The Jerusalem Post. A joint statement by the police and ISA said that two terrorists had plotted to detonate an explosive device and carry out a shooting. The suspects also sought to target an area near Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium. “The two were recruited by another terrorist who was trained abroad by other ISIS members, specializing in training and promoting terrorist activities within Israel,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

In December 2022, Israel arrested an ISIS suspect in eastern Jerusalem who had carried out a bombing at a bus stop. In December 2023, police thwarted another ISIS plot. There have been several terror attacks in Israel over the past month, including a ramming attack in Kochav Yair on April 3 and a stabbing attack at a West Bank checkpoint on March 13. On April 4, an Israeli stabbed in a March 31 terror attack in Gan Yavne succumbed to his wounds.

Palestinian-ISIS Attacks in Jerusalem Foiled,” FDD Flash Brief

Terrorists Connected to Palestinian Security Forces Carry Out Third Attack Within a Month,” FDD Flash Brief

Palestinian Shoots Up Israeli School Buses and Cars in West Bank’s Jordan Valley,” FDD Flash Brief


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