A senior Israeli army officer has said that Palestinian Authority (PA) security services arrested a Palestinian group from Ramallah that planned to capture Israeli soldiers for prisoner swaps last week.
According to the officer, the group was held with little effort, ahead of their plans to carrying out the operation. He said that they had prepared a cave in Beit Ayel to hide the soldier.
The Israeli website Walah, which is close to the country's intelligence services, said that the disclosed plan revealed a capability to execute the operation.
According to the website, Palestinians entice Israeli soldiers into the occupied West Bank by setting up criminal deals, like selling drugs or cheap goods.
The officer said that the Israeli military leadership in the West Bank were concerned that soldiers are being easily tricked and lured to the West Bank.
He added that the Israeli army and intelligence services have recently thwarted 40 attempts to capture soldiers.
The officer said that the army leadership was confronting this by stressing to its soldiers not to enter the West Bank. He said that capture now poses a kind of "strategic threat to the army and the state."