Palestinian indicted for ambitious ‘Hezbollah abduction plan’

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Israel’s General Security Service arrested a man in the West Bank who is suspected of planning to abduct Israelis for Hezbollah.

The man, named Yussef Yasser Suylam from the city of Qalqiliya, also collected information on Israel Defense Forces troops and units for handlers from Hezbollah who corresponded with him on Facebook, according to a statement published Thursday by the security service, which is also known as Shin Bet.

A military tribunal in the Samaria region is reviewing the indictment against the defendant, who is 23 years old, according to Army Radio. He has not yet responded to the allegations. The abduction plan involved taking an Israeli Jewish civilian, officer or soldier captive in the West Bank and smuggling them to Lebanon.

The plan as it is detailed in the indictment is highly ambitious.

Israel maintains strict surveillance on its northern borders and initiates lockdown procedures whenever authorities suspect an abduction, significantly complicating attempts to move captives inside the West Bank and Gaza without detection and intervention.

Separately, the General Security Service also published its monthly report earlier this week, indicating a very slight increase in the volume of terrorist attacks targeting Israelis in the West Bank and in Israel proper.

During the month of February, Israeli security services recorded 102 such attacks compared to 100 the previous month, the report said. The incidents resulted in no fatalities among victims but did end with 14 people wounded.

Of the 102 attacks recorded last month, 81 involved the hurling of firebombs.