Shin Bet Charges Arch-Terrorist Zbeidi with Carrying Out Shooting Attacks

Photo by Netanel Mordechai Kaufman/TPS on 20 May, 2019

By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 20 May, 2019

Israeli security forces have been successful in solving a series of shooting attacks that were carried out by arch-terrorist Zakariya Zbeidi in the Beit El area over the past months, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) revealed Monday.

Zbeidi and Arab lawyer Tarek Barghut were responsible for the attacks, the investigation shows.

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The two were arrested on February 2019 after a night during which they were to have carried out an additional attack, but which was foiled by the security forces. The Shin Bet categorized the threat they posed as “imminent and severe.”

Zbeidi, born in 1976 and a resident of Jenin, holds a senior position in the Palestinian Authority (PA) Prisoners Ministry. He was one of the senior terrorists in Judea and Samaria, has a rich history of acts of terrorism against Israel and is responsible for the murder of dozens of Israelis. He was the Jenin chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and is considered by the Israeli government to be a chief strategist of suicide bombers.

However, he was among those released under the 2007 “fugitives agreement” after he supposedly renounced terrorism and committed himself to “cultural resistance through theater.” This agreement was based on an explicit commitment by the released terrorists not to engage in violent and illegal activity and to abandon the terrorist cells to which they belonged.

“Zbeidi brazenly and brutally violated this commitment and was involved in carrying out several shooting attacks,” the Shin Bet stated. “He will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law, including for previous activity, and will be tried for all of the various terrorist attacks in which he has been involved.”

Tarek Barghut, born in 1975 and a resident of Ramallah, has Israeli citizenship, is an Israeli attorney and a member of the Bar Association. He has represented security prisoners in Israeli courts, until his arrest. Barghut was also employed as an attorney by the PA Prisoners Ministry.

The Shin Bet’s investigation shows that the two carried out two shooting attacks against busses that traveled near Beit El, on 7 November 2018 and 5 January 2019.

The two used Zbeidi’s vehicle during the attacks, which he received from the PA for his Prisoners Ministry work.

In preparation for the attacks, the two went over the chosen target areas, carried out observation of potential targets and gathered other information.

The two also carried out another shooting attack on 27 December 2018, during which they fired at a bus en route to Psagot, but did not hit it due to the weather. They also planned to carry out another attack on a Psagot-bound bus in February 2019.

Barghut also confessed to having shot at and damaging a police vehicle at Zeitim Crossing near Jerusalem on 19 November 2016.

During the investigation, an M-16 assault rifle and magazines, which were used in the attacks, were handed over to the security forces

A senior Shin Bet official remarked that the fact that the two “carried out severe terrorist attacks while using an official PA vehicle is very grave.”

“Intelligence and operational activity by the security forces immediately after the attacks and in the ensuing weeks, including in Ramallah, is what led to the exposure of the cell and the foiling of other terrorist attacks in the future,” he added.

Severe indictments against the two have been filed by the military prosecutor, and Zbeidi will be charged with all the previous offenses he committed against Israelis.


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