Israel Security Agency uncovers Jerusalem-based terror cell

The Shin Bet cleared for publication Thursday afternoon the uncovering of an Arab terror cell, composed of youths living in eastern Jerusalem, that led to recent violence on the Temple Mount.

By: World Israel News Staff

In recent weeks, the Israel Security Agency (ISA/Shin Bet), in conjunction with the Israel Police, uncovered a cell composed of youths – residents of eastern Jerusalem – that led the violent clashes on the Temple Mount after prayers on Friday, July 27, 2018.

Four officers were injured in the clashes. The Temple Mount was closed for several hours due to the violent events.

The incident occurred on the anniversary of what Arab rioters consider their “victory” on the same date last year with the removal of metal detectors at the holy site. The detectors were installed last year at the entrance for Muslim visitors to the compound following an Arab terror attack that claimed the lives of two Israeli policemen.

The cell had purchased fireworks that were smuggled onto the Temple Mount in order to attack the security forces stationed outside the site at the conclusion of the prayers.

The ISA and Israel Police investigation revealed that behind the aforesaid cell was Hamas terrorist Abu Tzabih, a resident of Kfar Akav who holds an Israeli ID card and was released from prison several months earlier after serving approximately eight months for activity on behalf of the Shabab al-Aqsa terrorist group.

Tzabih is the son of Mutzbah Abu Tzabih, who perpetrated the October 9, 2016 shooting attack in Jerusalem in which Levana Malichi and Israel Police Sgt. Yossi Kirma were killed.

The investigation discovered that it was Tzabih who led the violence in July. He arranged the financing for the purchase of the fireworks, ordered the recruitment of additional terrorists and directed that the fireworks be shot at the Israeli forces.

Also active was Hamas terrorist Rashid Rashk. He, too, holds an Israeli ID card and served a prison sentence (2014-2016) for involvement in a stabbing attack. Rashid recruited terrorists and instructed them on how to act during the event.

In the weeks following the incident, Rashk was active in engineering a similar violent event on the Temple Mount but without success due to counter-terrorism efforts by the security forces.

Eight additional residents of eastern Jerusalem were arrested and are subject to legal proceedings for involvement in the event on the Mount as well as other violent incidents in eastern Jerusalem.

The ISA and Israel Police will continue counter-terrorism operations against all terrorist elements active on the Temple Mount in order to maintain quiet and stability there and prevent any attempt to escalate the security situation, they said in a joint statement.