(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian prisoners released and deported to Gaza, Turkey, and Qatar as part of the Shalit deal are organizing their own terrorist cells in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a report on Thursday.
The deported prisoners, who are members of Hamas’ military wing, are providing guidance and funds to these cells, Hamas sources told Ynet.
The operation is being run by senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri, who is based in Turkey.
The sources said, according to the report, that the Hamas leadership in Gaza is pushing for suicide bomb attacks to be carried out in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, but has not been done as of yet.
The exiled Hamas members also have created their own cells in the West Bank to incite, protest and clash with Israeli security forces. This, because they see the West Bank Hamas leadership as too reserved in their activity since they fear being arrested by Israel or the PA.
The focal points of Hamas activity in the Palestinian territories are Nablus and Hebron, Israeli officials said last month.
As authorities struggle to grapple with the wave of Palestinian acts of violence in recent weeks, Israeli officials are convinced that Hamas will make every effort to execute a large-scale attack by using whatever means are available to its men in the field.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior figure in Hamas' political bureau, told an Islamist-affiliated web site in Gaza in October that he was hopeful the current violence would escalate into "an armed intifada."Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.