Israeli security and intelligence officials arrested five Palestinians belonging to a terror cell that were planning a major suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, the Shin Bet security service revealed on Monday.
The five terrorists, hailing from Jenin and the village of Attil in the Tulkarem area, were planning to infiltrate into Israel by applying for a medical permit for a female member of their group.
Once in Israel, the woman was to dress as a pregnant Jewish woman and detonate an explosives belt in Tel Aviv. The Shin Bet said that the terrorists planned to use a safe house once inside Israel to prepare the woman for the attack.
The Shin Bet listed the suspects as Yasmin Shaban, 31, from Jenin who was to be the designated suicide bomber; Munadil Takaz, 22, from Attil; his brother Muatez Takaz, 20, from Attil; Abd al-Haleq Masimi, 22, from Attil; and Marwan Tzadki, 20, from Attil.
Under interrogation, the terrorists admitted that they also planned several other attacks such a kidnapping a soldier, shooting attacks, and detonating a hidden mine next to a bus transporting soldiers.
Members of the cell admitted that they were being guided by a terror operative in the Gaza Strip who told the cell that Islamic Jihad and Hamas would claim responsibility for the attack. The Gaza operative instructed the cell on how to assemble the explosives belt.
IDF forces working alongside the Shin Bet and Israeli police arrested the five terrorists between October and November. A gag order on the arrests was only lifted on Monday and cleared for release.
During the arrests, forces uncovered ammunition, explosive materials, an improvised M-16 and a hunting rifle.
Shaban and another suspect have been charged with terrorism offenses before the Samaria Military Court. Charges against the remaining suspects are pending.