Jerusalem, 24 December 2002

ISA and Israel Police arrest members of eastern Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The ISA and Israel Police recently arrested four members of an Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades cell, all residents of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jebel Mukhaber who hold blue, eastern Jerusalem, identity cards. They have confessed to perpetrating two shooting attacks in Jerusalem and have admitted that they were planning additional varied attacks throughout the city.

The four are:

Raad Salah Muhammad Slahot, 26;
Ali Hashem Ali Mashahade, 24;
Muhammad Suleiman Muhammad Slahot, 24; and
Khaled Musa Ali Bashir, 27.

The first three admitted to perpetrating two shooting attacks in Jerusalem. On October 6, 2002, they shot at an Israel police van in Jebel Mukhaber; there were no injuries. On October 18, 2002, they shot at a police station and at homes in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood; there were no injuries. The three also admitted to planning additional attacks in the Jerusalem area (in and around Jebel Mukhaber and Armon Hanatziv), and gathered intelligence to this effect.

They were supplied with weapons by Husam Shahin, a Tanzim operative from Ramallah, who recruited them into the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. They admitted undergoing military training in Bethlehem under the supervision of Khaled No’oura. Saad No’oura, a Tanzim operative from Bethlehem, who has also been arrested recently, has admitted that the three informed him of their plans to perpetrate additional attacks.

The arrest of the members of this cell joins a series of recent arrests of terrorists, residents of Jerusalem and its environs, who possess blue identity cards and exploit the freedom of movement provided thereby in order to gather information on possible targets and to perpetrate attacks.