Gazan Palestinian arrested for planning attack

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian man from Gaza who had entered Israel to receive medical treatment was arrested for planning sniper attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Mohammed Abu Amsa, 32, was arrested earlier this month in a joint operation of the Israel Shin Bet security agency and the Israel Police. A gag order on the case was lifted on Thursday.

Amsa postponed his planned sniper attack in order to receive treatment at a Ramallah hospital to restore his eyesight. He received permission to travel through Israel to get to the hospital in the West Bank.

He admitted under questioning by the Shin Bet that he had planned to carry out a sniper attack on Israeli troops patrolling the Gaza border fence, according to court documents. The Shin Bet said Amsa is an operative for the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades.

He was indicted Thursday in Beersheba District Court for attempted murder, contact with an outside agent and involvement in a crime.

“Israel authorizes the entrance of thousands of Gaza residents monthly for humanitarian and medical purposes. 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,” Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement issued Thursday.

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