On June 5, Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency claimed that it had countered a Syrian-backed plot to assasinate Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat as well as other figures and international delegations.
According to the Shin Bet, the plot led by 30-year-old Muhammad Jamal Rashdah, from the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem, was thwarted earlier on April 24. Two more suspects were arrested in the following weeks.
Rashdah has an Israeli ID card and is a former security prisoner.
The Shin Bet claimed that he was also planning attacks against a delegation of Canadian representatives residing in Jerusalem who train Palestinian Authority forces in the West Bank as well as against buildings belonging to the American consulate.
Rashdah was allegedly carrying this activity on orders from members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC). According to the security service, Rashdeh was collecting intelligence about his targets when he was detained.
The PFLP-GC was taking part in the Syrian government’s operations against ISIS in the area of Yarmouk in southern Damascus. Israel describes the PFLP-GC as a terrorist group.