Security forces arrested members of a Hamas terrorist cell on suspicion of carrying out a deadly shooting attack, claiming the life of an Israeli civilian on June 29 near the settlement of Kida, and wounding three others.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), together with the IDF and Israel Police, said members of the cell also carried out a shooting attack on an Israeli ambulance and other Israeli vehicles near Beitin on June 27. There were no injuries in that incident.
On June 28, Malachi Rosenfeld, a 25-year-old who lived in Kochav Hashahar, was shot and killed by a terrorist.
Four hurt after shots fired in West Bank terrorist attack
The Shin Bet said Hamas members in their custody confessed to that shooting, as well as additional attacks in June.
The cell acted locally and was not directed by Hamas in Gaza, according to security sources.
Security forces named Ahmed Najar, a Hamas operative and former security prisoner who served time for shootings that killed Israelis, as orchestrating the terrorist incidents. Najar, originally from Silwad, near Ramallah, was released from prison as part of the 2011 Schalit prisoner swap with Hamas, and banished to the Gaza Strip. From there, the Shin Bet stated, he moved to Jordan, and “systematically worked to set in motion terrorist attacks on the ground.”
Najar, born in 1976, is Hamas operative and served time between 2003 and October 2011 for the murder of six Israelis. He is currently at large in Jordan.
His brother, Amjad, born in 1977, is also a Hamas operative. He confessed to receiving instructions from his elder brother, and receiving weapons and cash that were used in the attack, according to security forces.
The Shin Bet named a total of seven members of the Hamas cell, four of whom are in Israeli custody, and two under arrest by PA forces.
Palestinian Authority security forces arrested two Hamas members who are allegedly part of the same group, the Shin Bet said. It named Ma’ad Hamed, who allegedly carried out the two shootings in June, as the head of the cell, and an additional man suspected of plotting the attacks and possessing the weapons used to carry them out.
One suspect, Fa’az Hamad, born in 1973 and a resident of Silwad, is in Israeli custody, and a member of the Hamas leadership. Hamas confessed to taking part in the planning of these attacks and an additional attempted attack, the Shin Bet added.