(Communicated by Israeli security sources)
In a joint IDF and ISA activity early this morning, April 9, 2006, security forces arrested wanted Fatah operative A’azam Zin A-Din, who admitted to having carried out a shooting and stabbing attack against an Israeli citizen on March 1, 2006. A-Din, aided by an additional Palestinian, arrived at a gas station near the Israeli community of Migdalim, east of Ariel, and murdered an Israeli citizen, Eldad Abir.
A-Din, 23, a wanted Fatah operative, resident of the village of Majdal Bani Fadil near Nablus, was arrested at the Allenby Crossing while attempting to flee the country.
Another wanted Palestinian, Hani Maztapa Hassin Zin A-Din, 35, resident of the village of Majdal Bani Fadil, was arrested for planning the terror attack and aiding the murderers after the attack.
In his questioning, A-Din stated that he had carried out the terror attack in collaboration with A-Rahman Saliman Ali O’tman, 23, a wanted Fatah operative, resident of the village of Majdal Bani Fadil after having been approached by O’tmann and offered to murder a Jew with both A’azam and Hani A-Din.
The three then decided to murder an Israeli citizen working in a gas station near the Israeli community of Migdalim. A few days prior to the attack the three had collected intelligence about the station, including possible escape routes. The night before the attack, A’azam and Abed Al-Rahaman composed their wills, stating that they were planning to carry out an attack the following day.
Immediately following the shooting and stabbing attack, the two terrorists escaped to Nablus where they hid for several days before being smuggled to Jericho with the assistance of aides. They remained in Jericho up until A-Din’s attempt to flee the country.
In his questioning, A’azam stated that he had always, in his home, freely expressed his wish to die a "martyr’s" death. In addition, he stated that after the attack, seeking refuge, A-Rahaman asked his brother to secure them positions within the Palestinian Authority so as to receive protection from Israel.
The weapons used in the shooting and stabbing of the Israeli citizen were uncovered following the questioning of additional Palestinians who had been involved in the attack. Additional operatives who aided the terrorists by harboring them and concealing the murder weapons, residents of the village of Majdal Bani Fadil, were arrested. An additional assault rifle and knife used by the cell were uncovered during the operatives’ arrest.