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An Israeli Arab was arrested for helping a Hamas terrorists in Tulkarm get materials to make bombs, security sources revealed Thursday.
The Shin Bet and Israel Police last month arrested Muhammad Khalaf, an Israeli citizen from Jat, after a Hamas terrorist from Tulkarm told investigators that he had received from Khalaf materials that were used in producing explosives that were later used in terrorist attacks against Israeli targets.
According to a government statement, On September 1, the ISA and IDF arrested Waal Zakle, 22, a Hamas terrorist from Tulkarm, who belonged to a cell that planned, organized and perpetrated several attacks in which Israeli citizens were wounded.
Zakle said that he appealed to Khalaf and asked him for materials used in making explosives including potassium and sulfur, the sale and possession of which have been banned in Judea and Samaria. Khalaf, who had previously (in the 1970's) been imprisoned for perpetrating security offenses and who had been active in the "Sons of the Village" movement, agreed, knowing both that Zakle was active in Hamas's military wing and that these materials would serve for the production of bombs and the perpetrating of terrorist attacks. Khalaf transferred the materials hidden inside sacks of sugar. Khalaf also met with additional Hamas terrorists and said that the Palestinians had to continue with actions such as the murder of former minister Rechavam Zeevy. Zakle also admitted that he had cleaned and repaired five pistols for Khalaf.
In August 2004, Khalaf was suspected of trafficking in war materiel for terrorist elements and summoned to an ISA meeting. Khalaf denied the accusations and was warned against problematic ties with residents of Judea and Samaria and against activities that could harm the state.
The central district of the State Prosecutor's Office has decided to submit an indictment against Khalaf, as well as a request that he be remanded until the end of proceedings against him, to the Tel Aviv District Court. Khalaf is accused of severe security offenses of aiding an enemy in wartime, contact with a foreign agent, the illegal possession of a firearm, criminal conspiracy and attempted criminal conspiracy.
It is clear that Hamas sought to capitalize on the fact that Khalaf was an Israeli citizen with access and links to residents of Judea and Samaria in order to procure dangerous materials for use in the perpetration of terrorist acts.
Meanwhile, early Thursday soldiers at the Hawara roadblock south of Nablus detained a 15-year-old Palestinian after he suspiciously attempted to avoid a security check. Soldiers found in his possession an IDF mortar shell and two knives, the army said.
The youth was taken for questioning by the security forces and the weaponry was confiscated. Border police sappers detonated the mortar shell in a controlled manner. No injuries or damage were reported.
This is the sixth weaponry smuggling attempt thwarted by security forces at the Hawara security crossing in the last two months.