IDF, Shin Bet Op Cracks Palestinian Terror Cells

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JERUSALEM, Israel - A joint operation by the IDF -- Israel Defense Forces -- and the Shin Bet -- Israel Security Agency -- cracked a major Palestinian terror cell operating near Jerusalem overseeing several smaller cells.

The cells operate under the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Jerusalem Post military correspondent Yaakov Katz reported on Tuesday.

The Shin Bet took nearly two dozen PFLP operatives into custody, among them Arabs from east Jerusalem neighborhoods who hold Israeli identity cards. Many of them live and operate out of Jerusalem neighborhoods and several are hardcore senior cell members, well known by the Shin Bet, who have been in and out of Israeli jails over many years. 

One man, 50-year-old Nasser Abu-Khadir from the Shuafat neighborhood, said he is responsible for organizing terror operations in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Ramallah. 

Abu-Khadir told investigators he is in contact with PFLP leaders in Damascus, who provide financial and logistical aid and arrange for Palestinian Arabs to travel abroad for "military" training. One cell focused on kidnapping Israeli soldiers and citizens.

The leaders work together to secure weapons, explosives and bomb-building paraphernalia -- including cell phones to detonate bombs remotely. They also try to obtain false Israeli ID cards for freedom of movement and rent apartments in the city to coordinate their activities.

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