JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's domestic security agency said Wednesday it had thwarted a plot by the son of the chief of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to recruit Palestinians to attack Israel.
The Shin Bet agency and the Israeli military said Jawad Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, solicited a Palestinian online who recruited other Palestinians into a militant cell. Another Hezbollah operative instructed the cell about using explosives, training suicide bombers, gathering intelligence on security forces and purchasing weapons, they said.
An Israeli military court indicted five Palestinians from the area of Tulkarem, in the West Bank, who were planning a shooting attack against Israeli forces with Hezbollah backing. Shin Bet said in a statement that Hezbollah is trying to "ride the wave" of ongoing Palestinian attacks on Israelis. Hezbollah did not comment.
Over the past four months, there have been near-daily Palestinian attacks on Israelis that have killed more than 25 people. Some 146 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, of which 101 have been identified by Israel as attackers. The rest were killed in clashes with troops.
The latest violence occurred early Wednesday, according to the army, when a suspected Palestinian gunman shot and lightly wounded an Israeli soldier in the Tulkarem area. The army said it was unrelated to the alleged Hezbollah cell in the area. Troops fired back as the gunman fled, the army said, and a search is underway.
Israeli officials blame the ongoing violence on a Palestinian campaign of incitement. Palestinian officials say it stems from frustration over Israeli occupation.