Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem November 23.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday praised the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and IDF after it was announced that security forces had thwarted a large-scale Hamas cell in the West Bank that "could have claimed the lives of many victims in our country."
While the premier noted that despite the announcement of the deterred plot in September, many others remain unrevealed.
The premier lauded those involved in counter-terrorism work and operations "against Hamas that seeks to challenge the existence of a Jewish national state and essentially challenges the existence of Jews in general."
He vowed that Israel was working "day in day out to ensure the safety of Israeli citizens."
It was cleared for publication on Thursday that the network planned to target the landmark Teddy soccer stadium in Jerusalem, the capital's light rail system, car bombings, and kidnappings of Israelis in the West Bank and overseas.
The nerve center of the network was situated in Hamas's headquarters in Turkey, the Shin Bet added. Additional intended targets included infiltrations into Israeli communities, shooting and bombing attacks against Israeli traffic and military targets in the West Bank, and setting up terrorist cells in Jordan in order to carry out cross-border attacks into Israel.
The plot, uncovered in September, involved the assembly of multiple terror cells in the West Bank, as well as the training of Hamas members overseas.
More than 30 Hamas members are under arrest, and the Shin Bet has seized two M-16 firearms, ammunition, and bomb-making equipment.
Yaakov Lapin contributed to this report.