Security personnel broke up what they described as a large-scale Hamas terrorist infrastructure operating in Kalkilya during raids early on Tuesday.
In a joint Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), IDF and Israel Police operation, counterterrorism raiders targeted, among others, the alleged local Hamas commander, who worked to renew the organization’s activity in the Kalkilya region and in surrounding villages. The activities included “preparing the ground for terrorist activities,” the Shin Bet said.
The Hamas operatives were orchestrated and received instructions, as well as a high degree of funding, from Hamas headquarters in Qatar and in the Gaza Strip, “which assisted in building up the infrastructure,” the agency added.
Security forces raided addresses and arrested 24 Hamas operatives, some of whom had served repeated jail terms in the past for Hamas “military” activities, the Shin Bet said.
Security forces seized more than NIS 35,000 during the operation.
Duvdevan unit undercover special operators, Egoz commandos from the Golan Brigade, and undercover Border Police officers from the Judea and Samaria District all took part in the raids. They were joined by members of the Kfir infantry brigade’s Duchifat battalion, and the Artillery Corps’ Reshef and Namer battalions.
“The Hamas infrastructure in Kalkilya is one of the oldest in Hamas’s West Bank infrastructure,” the Shin Bet said. “This episode uncovers the ongoing activities of Hamas headquarters abroad and in the Gaza Strip, as well as the activities of local West Bank infrastructures, to realize their goal of building up their forces, with a view of reaching organizational and military readiness,” the domestic intelligence agency added.
“Their end goal is to carry out terrorist attacks and engage in military activity against Israeli targets,” it said.
Overnight between Monday and Tuesday, soldiers arrested a total of 36 wanted suspects, including the 24 Hamas members in Kalkilya. An additional 12 suspects had allegedly taken part in unorganized terrorism and violent disturbances targeting civilians and security personnel.
Raids were mounted near Nablus, Bethlehem and in the Hebron region, as well as south of Jericho and Jenin.
Security personnel seized a firearm and ammunition during the operation.