Palestinian Fatah-Tanzim Terror Cell Busted

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A joint operation by the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), and Israel Police tracked down a Palestinian terror cell believed responsible for an attack in December on an IDF army base.

The four-member cell, affiliated with the Tanzim, the military wing of the Palestinian Authority's Fatah faction, attacked and lightly injured the guard at the Rama Army Base in northern Jerusalem and stole his M-16 rifle, the IDF reported on its website.

The report named Aiad Fathi Mustafa Khader, 36, a Fatah-Tanzim operative and resident of Ar-Ram.

The three others -- Muhammad Said Hasin Matir, 32; Muhammad Ghazi Fares Kassem, 24; and Anuar Ismaail Gabarin Abu Zeida, 35 -- are residents of Kalandia, a Palestinian Arab town between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The Jerusalem District Court indicted Khader for stealing and selling arms. The Judea and Samaria Military Court indicted the other three for stealing arms, including the theft of a weapon from Ma'ale Michmash, a Jewish community in Samaria.

Marwan Barghouti, serving five consecutive life sentences for masterminding terror attacks during the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005 and for the murder of four Israelis and a Greek Orthodox priest, is the former head of the Tanzim militia.

In related news, a Jerusalem District Court convicted two senior Hamas members of terror-related activities, Israel National News reported Thursday.

According to the report, Khaled Abu Arfa and Mahmad Toutach both held Israeli ID cards at one time and were residents of Jerusalem, where they sought to conduct business on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

After Israel's Interior Ministry removed their legal residence status in 2006, the two men worked out of the Red Cross offices in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood until their arrest in 2011.

Their sentencing will take place at a later date, the report stated.

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