JERUSALEM – Palestinian security forces arrested on Saturday three Palestinians who they say were planning to carry out a terror attack against Israeli targets.
The three men, Basel Muhammad Alkarj (33), Muhammad Abdallah Harb (23), and Hishar Alsiaj (19), have been missing since last week, Israeli website NRG reported.
They were arrested after one of the officers in the Palestinian Authority’s general security forces spotted a group of young men walking on the hills outside Ramallah in the West Bank.
The officer initially thought the group were Israeli settlers, but when he notified his superiors they told him about the three missing men.
A manhunt for the three began last week after a cleaner working in the Ramallah municipality found a bag containing the men’s ID cards, cellular phones, and a laptop computer.
They were arrested on Saturday not far from Ramallah and taken for questioning by Palestinian security forces after the PA security official spotted them.
The father of one of the men said that when his son left home there were no signs he was planning to be away for a long period of time. But when the three were caught, they were in possession of large bags containing hiking equipment, guns, and hand grenades.
The men’s families were notified that they had been found.
The Hamas movement on Saturday accused the Palestinian Authority of adopting a “revolving door” policy, arresting Palestinians and moving them from PA jails to Israeli prisons.
An official from the Gaza-based terror group said the policy was part of “escalating security collaboration” with Israel, according to a report in the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
Hamas spokesman Husam Badran on Friday said that Israel has detained dozens of Palestinians just after their release from PA jails since the beginning of a wave of violence in October 2015.
Badran accused the PA of “adopting a revolving door policy, where pro-intifada activists illegally detained by the PA would be released and then arrested by the Israeli occupation shortly after.”
“By such incidents, the PA is betraying the Jerusalem intifada,” Badran said, using Hamas’ term for the wave of terror attacks carried out mostly by young Palestinians against Israelis over the past six months.