Hamas members accused of planning to bomb stage during Netanyahu speech

Jerusalem District Attorney files indictment against two east Jerusalem residents.

January 8, 2016 13:10
2 minute read.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a Jerusalem event marking 25 years to the beginning of the massive wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union. (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

An indictment was filed Friday morning against two east Jerusalem residents accused of assisting the enemy in a time of war, contacting a foreign agent and purchasing materials for explosives.

The Jerusalem District Attorney filed the indictment against alleged Hamas recruits Hazem Sandouqa, 22, and Fahdi Abu Qaian, 19, to the Jerusalem District Court.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The two young men had plotted to carry out an attack on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however they did not set a specific time for the strike, the indictment said.

Among accusations, the indictment stated that Sandouqa had wanted to place an explosive device under a stage during a speech by the premier at the Jerusalem Payis Arena sports facility.

According to the indictment, Sandouqa had also purchased, on multiple occasions, several kilograms of various chemical substances for the purpose of making explosives and explosive devices. According to allegations, he transported the materials to Hamas operatives running a laboratory in an apartment in the Arab neighborhood of Abu Dis, bordering Jerusalem.

Furthermore, Abu Qaian, who was said to be in alignment with the Islamic State group, was accused of conspiring with Hamas to transport weapons between Israel and the West Bank and vise versa, "to carry out murderous attacks against Israeli citizens."

The indictment further stated that Hamas had in recent months recruited Sandouqa and Abu Qaian from the Abu Dis campus of Al-Quds University. The two were pursued by the terrorist group due to their lack of criminal records and because security services were not monitoring them.

"They were aiding Ahmed Gamal Moussa Azzam, a Hamas operative, to carry out actions aimed at advancing the cause of Hamas organizations and organized various terrorist attacks using explosive devices," the indictment charged.

The two were part of Hamas operations in Abu Dis, as revealed two weeks ago by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

"Ahmed Azzam was in constant contact with handlers in the Gaza Strip and trained to be an explosives expert who would develop suicide belts and explosive devices," the Shin Bet said. "In accordance with instructions given to Azzam, he recruited several other operatives who were studying at Abu Dis University, for the purpose of purchasing material for the manufacture of explosives, renting apartments, and serving as suicide bombers in Israel."

The prosecution called for the arrest of the defendants until the culmination of legal proceedings against the two.

Related Content

Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
June 19, 2018
The Jekyll & Hyde Israel-Jordan Relationship