The Shin Bet security services said on Sunday that it arrested three Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem on suspicion of ‘plotting to assassinate Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef’.

According to the Shin Bet, the three residents are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, PFLP.

“The three obtained weapons and scouted the home of Yosef in preparation to assassinate him, they also planned other operations in Jerusalem”, the Shin Bet claimed.

The three residents were identified as Salah Al-Hammoury, 20, from Dahiyat Al-Barid in Jerusalem, who is a bearer of an Israeli ID and French citizenship, Mo’atesim Al-Sheikh, 25, from Anata, and Mousa Darwish, 22, from Al- Isawiyah village near Jerusalem.

Also, the Shin Bet said that Salah Al-Hammoury was released from prison last year after being arrested and imprisoned for his membership of the PFLP.

“After his release Al-Hammoury recruited the PFLP Jerusalem cell, which started with graffiti, and handing out leaflets, but later on it was contacted by the military wing of the front in recent months”, the Israeli security claimed.

The shin Bet added that the three Jerusalemites were contacted by senior PFLP members held in a Palestinian prison in Jericho for involvement in the assassination of Minister Rehavam Ze’evi, October 2001.

The three members were arrested last by the Shin Bet and the Jerusalem District Police, but a gag order was issued barring publication of case details.

“After the PFLP assassinated Ze’evi, they wanted to assassinate another Israeli Key figure, Rabbi Yousef’s name came up”, Shin Bet said.

Also, the Shin Bet added that Al-Hammoury, and other members, bought weapons and ammunition, and Darwish came up with the idea to assassinate Yosef since he knew his address in Jerusalem Har Nof neighborhood, from his work at a food store in Givat Shaul neighborhood in Jerusalem, as a deliveryman.

“Al-Hammoury and Darwish marked notes on security arrangements around Yosef’s home whenever he came of left home, they both planned their escape route”, the Shin Bet reported.