In early December, 2013, the ISA (Israel Security Agency or Shin Bet Security Service), with the assistance of the Israel Police, arrested a terrorist operative from the Gaza Strip’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade who was involved in terrorist activity in recent years against civilians and soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, including the planning of a sniper attack.

The operative, Mohammad Tzaber Mohammed Abu Amsha, a 32-year-old resident of Beit Hanun, admitted that he was training to be a sniper in an attack targeting IDF soldiers along the Gaza Strip border fence. In order to research different ways to carry out the terror attack, he said he collected information on IDF patrol movements in different areas, and information on their target practice exercises.

In the process of planning the attack, Abu Amsha said he experienced an eye condition which impaired his sniping ability. He therefore requested to enter Israel with a humanitarian permit in order to receive medical treatment in a Ramallah hospital. The attack was postponed until his return to Gaza once his eyesight was to be restored.

“Israel authorizes the entrance of thousands of Gaza residents monthly for humanitarian and medical purposes,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. “This instance of abuse of a permit for terrorist intentions, is loathsome, and poses a violation that jeopardizes the access for medical aid Israel and Judea and Samaria so many Palestinian enjoy.”

Abu Amsha was indicted on Dec. 26 in the Beer Sheva District Court on three counts: attempted murder, contact with an outside agent, and involvement in a crime (murder).

This article has been reprinted with the permission of the IDF Blog