Jerusalem, 4 September 2001

Israel Police and ISA Arrest Jerusalem PFLP Cell
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

On August 8 and August 21, 2001, the ISA (Israel Security Agency), aided by special units and investigators of the Minorities Unit of the Jerusalem Police, arrested a terrorist cell of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The cell was made up of six residents of eastern Jerusalem who were controlled by the organization’s military infrastructure in Ramallah under the direction of a senior PFLP leader, Ahed Awalmah.

The members of the cell who were arrested are as follows:

  1. Samer Ghazi Issa Mutaeb, 24 year old (born 1977) resident of A-Ram.
  2. Bilal Muhammed Mahmoud Udeh, 23 years old (born 1978) resident of French Hill, Jerusalem.
  3. Aziz Ibrahim Yehya Dandis, 19 years old (born 1982) resident of Kfar Akab.
  4. Anan Abd Al Latif Shehadah Gheith, 19 years old (born 1982) resident of Shuafat.
  5. Ihab Mahmad Wajeh Waari, 19 years old (born 1982) resident of Daheyat el Barid.
  6. Fares Marwan Yussef Awedah, 20 years old (born 1981) resident of Wadi Joz, Jerusalem.

During the course of their questioning, the members of the cell confessed to perpetrating the following attacks:

1. August 27, 2001 – A bomb hidden in a watermelon on bus #39 in Jerusalem: The bomb was passed to the cell by another member from Ramallah. After receiving the bomb, the terrorist boarded the #39 bus in the vicinity of the new central bus station in Jerusalem, and after a short ride, disembarked at one of the stops leaving the bomb underneath the back seat. A short while later, he unsuccessfully tried to explode the bomb using a cellular telephone. The bomb was later discovered by the bus driver and neutralized by police sappers.

2. August 21, 2001 – Car-bomb on Hyrkanus street in downtown Jerusalem: The car-bomb was prepared by members of the organization’s military infrastructure in Ramallah and infiltrated into Jerusalem by one of the Ramallah members with the aid of one of the Jerusalem residents who he picked up on the way to planting the car-bomb in the Russian Compound pub/restaurant district. The two unsuccessfully attempted to activate the bomb, after which they planted a smaller bomb under the car which they exploded in an attempt to set off the larger bomb in the car.

It was further discovered under questioning that the cell planned and intended to carry out the following attacks:

  1. A combined bomb and car-bomb attack on a restaurant in Ein Kerem, in which a bomb would be exploded in a restaurant to be followed by the blowing up of the car-bomb as the diners escaped out into the street.
  2. A bomb attack on the Rav-Chen cinema on a Friday or Saturday night.
  3. A shooting attack using a silenced pistol on Jews or Jewish vehicles in the vicinity of Shuafat/Ramot.
  4. A bomb attack at a bus stop in the vicinity of French Hill, Jerusalem.
  5. A bomb attack on a nursery school next to Jerusalem road #1.
  6. Placing a bomb between two cars in front of a religious school in Jerusalem.
  7. A shooting attack on Jewish vehicles on Jerusalem road #1 or the Jerusalem – Ma’aleh Adumim road.
  8. Kidnapping soldiers from the Jerusalem – Tel Aviv highway and smuggling them to Ramallah.
  9. Planting a car-bomb near the US Consulate-General in eastern Jerusalem.
  10. Infiltrating a car-bomb or a boobytrapped crate into the Strauss Street medical clinic.
  11. Planting a car-bomb in a settlement.
  12. Planting a pipe bomb under a vehicle in Jerusalem.