Fatah operative charged with orchestrating, financing terror cell in A-Tur
Following an investigation into terrorist activity in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur – including the throwing of firebombs, pipe bombs, rocks and fireworks at security forces and Jewish residents – the Shin Bet announced the indictments of five Arab residents on Monday.
According to the Israel Security Agency, Fatah activist Marwan Khalil, 21, who lives in the flashpoint neighborhood, headed a terror cell there since July, providing accomplices with funding and an arsenal of weapons used as recently as last month.
“The investigation revealed that dozens of [Fatah] activists have been involved in the past year, committing acts of violence,” the Shin Bet said in a statement. “It also emerged that the network was operated in an orderly manner, aiming to damage property, Jewish residents and security forces.”
According to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the chronic attacks were carried out by members of the group from July through January, resulting in the destruction of Jewish property and police vehicles.
“In this joint investigation between Shabak and the police, a number of key suspects were indicted after being heavily involved in terror-related incidents in A-Tur over the last few months,” he said Monday, adding that the five indicted are Fatah members.
During an August attack, the Shin Bet said, numerous suspects from the cell ambushed police riot patrol vehicles in the neighborhood, requiring one of the drivers to be rescued by fellow officers.
Apart from the five suspects indicted at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, the Shin Bet said several more indictments will be filed against more accomplices in the coming days.
In the meantime, Rosenfeld said police will continue to heavily patrol A-Tur and all flashpoint Arab neighborhoods throughout the capital.
“The Israeli Police will continue to carry out extensive operations in order to prevent further terrorist attacks, both on residents and police units patrolling all of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods,” he said.
Ten days ago, a masked 17-year-old Arab resident of A-Tur was found with an arsenal of 100 fireworks after being arrested for firing a round of the explosives at police officers patrolling the neighborhood.