IDF arrests five Hamas leaders in Hebron raid
ByYaakov Lappin
27 March 2013 16:25
Among those arrested is Hamas legislator Muhammed Natsha who was release 2 months ago after 6 months in Israeli custody.
IDF soldiers deal with protesters in Hebron

IDF soldiers in Hebron. (photo credit:Reuters)

Security forces arrested five members of Hamas in Hebron overnight Wednesday.

The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) did not disclose the reasons for the arrest. An army spokeswoman would only confirm that the arrests took place.



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According to Palestinian news agency Ma’an, the men arrested were Muhammad Natsha, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Abdul-Khaliq Hasan Natsha, Muhammad Tahsin Shawar, Amjad Hamouri and Jawad Muhammad al- Jaabari.

Muhammad Natsha previously spent six months in Israeli custody and was released two month ago without being charged or put on trial.

One of the suspects is an attorney with links to Hamas.

According to the IDF’s intelligence assessment, Hamas in Gaza is intent on taking over the West Bank through a reconciliation with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.

And in recent months, Hamas in Gaza has increased efforts to set up terrorist cells in the West Bank, security forces say.

Earlier this month, the Shin Bet announced the arrest of a Hamas cell in the West Bank which had been ordered to create and fire rockets at Israel, kidnap and murder a soldier and carry out suicide bombings.

The cell had been set up by Gaza’s interior minister, Fathi Hammad, the Shin Bet added.

In Gaza, Hamas is rearming itself with rockets in Gaza, but at a slower pace than before, because of limitations it is facing.

Prior to their arrest, the terrorists sent a message to Gaza saying they were ready to act within days. The arrest prevented impending terror attacks, the Shin Bet said.

The IDF is engaged in a continuous effort to keep Hamas in check in the West Bank. Last month, it arrested 23 Hamas figures in predawn raids on their homes in Nablus, Hebron, Ramallah and Kalkilya.

“It’s part of the ‘lawn mowing’ that is required to stop Hamas from converting street popularity and its motivation into organizational achievements,” a defense source told The Jerusalem Post at the time of the arrests.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.
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