A group of gunmen affiliated with Fatah attempted to hit Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's convoy as it made its way from Jerusalem to Jericho for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on August 6, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told the cabinet ministers Sunday morning.You have to understand that this is a cultural thing - attempted murder in the PA is as serious as graffiti. How dare Israel impose its obscene Western standards on the peaceful Palestinian Arabs!
Israel learned of the plan from intelligence information received several days before the visit. The attack was eventually thwarted by the Shin Bet and the Palestinian Intelligence Service headed by Tawfik Tirawi.
Following the incident, the Palestinians arrested three suspects, who were later released, according to Israeli officials. Two other cell members are being held in Israel.
On Sunday, Israel filed an official complaint with the Palestinian Authority following the suspects' release.
Israeli security sources expressed their anger over the release, which took place "after these terrorists' involvement in the foiled attack was made clear."
The cell included five members who were involved in terror attacks and previous failed attacks in the West Bank. The information was disclosed to the PA, which arrested three of the cell members. The other two were detained by the IDF and the Shin Bet.
Israeli officials claimed Sunday that the PA released the three suspects, whom Israel claims are members of the Palestinian security organizations, on September 26. The three, Ynet was told, admitted to the plot before they were released.
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