Israel uncovers Iran-backed terror cell operating under the guise of humanitarian aid

BREAKING: The Shin Bet domestic security service thwarted an Iran-backed PFLP terror cell operating under the guise of a humanitarian aid agency in the Arab-run territories of Judea and Samaria.

Iran and Hezbollah were involved in training and financing the cell, whose Muslim terrorists were scheduled to train in Lebanon.

The terror cell operated under the guise of a Palestinian civilian organization called “al Shababa al-Alumi al-Arabi (Arab Nationalist Youth).

The exposure of the terror cell began after the April 20 arrest and interrogation of Yazan Abu Salah, a 23-year-old PFLP terrorist from an Arab village near Jenin.

He told Shin Bet interrogators that the cell planned to carry out numerous serious attacks, including in the northern Israeli town of Harish and the abduction of an IDF soldier who would be used to negotiate the release of Muslim terrorists jailed in Israel.

Abu Salah purchased weapons and recruited Muslim terrorists for two different cells, on in the Samaria region and one in Ramallah.

“During Yazan’s interrogation, it came out that he planned to go to Lebanon for military training, including learning how to shoot, create weapons, operate drones and more,” the security service said.

Following his interrogation, his cousin Mahmud Abu Salah, a 29-year-old Muslim terrorist resident of Bir Zeit, was arrested.

“During Muhammad’s interrogation, it came out that the organization conducted joint exercises with officials in Iran, as well as Hezbollah and the Syrian military, and they were also sources of funding for the organization’s activities,” the Shin Bet said.

The PFLP cells were directed by Assad al-Amili, who is based out of Lebanon and “works fully on behalf of Iranian officials in Syria.”

The investigation revealed that Abu Salah drew inspiration for planning and carrying out the terror attacks from a terror attack in which PFLP terrorists planted a bomb near the Jewish community of Dolev and murdered 17-year-old Israeli teen Rina Shnerb while she was hiking with her family in August 2019.

In total, ten Muslim terrorists were arrested in connection with the terror cell.

The investigation revealed close cooperation between PFLP terrorists in the Arab-run territories of Judea and Samaria and Hezbollah and the Iranian regime and their combined efforts in promoting terror attacks against Israelis.