Israel arrests \'Hezbollah cell\' members in West Bank
JERUSALEM - Israeli forces have arrested members of a cell allegedly linked to Lebanon's militant Hezbollah movement which was planning a shooting attack inside Israel, the army announced Wednesday.
Forces "apprehended a terror cell funded and guided by Hezbollah", an army statement said, adding the cell was "plotting a shooting attack".
It said the cell was based in Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank and was made up of Palestinians.
However, it "received instructions and guidance regarding executing terror attacks... from an additional Hezbollah operative".
The leader of the five-person cell was recruited online by Jawad Nasrallah, son of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, the army charged.
It did not provide the dates of the arrests, saying only that the investigation had been concluded recently.
A police statement named the leader of the cell as Mahmoud Zaghloul, who apparently was able to contact Hezbollah via social media. He then recruited other members to plan the operation.
Hezbollah allegedly also sent the group $5,000 to help them plan their operation, the police said.
The men have been taken to an Israeli military court to be charged.
On Monday, Israel's military chief of staff, in a rare public speech, said Hezbollah was his country's biggest threat.
Gadi Eizenkot said the Iranian-backed movement would be strengthened by the nuclear deal struck by Tehran and world powers.
More money would be channelled to Hezbollah with sanctions lifted and as Iran's economy grows, Eizenkot said.
In 2006, Israel fought a devastating war against Hezbollah that killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.
The powerful Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah has targeted army patrols along the Lebanese-Israeli border in response to strikes against its members, most recently on January 4.