A Palestinian holds a fake rocket during an anti-Israel demonstration in Hebron..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Palestinian Authority security official said Friday that the PA's security services uncovered and arrested a Hamas cell near Hebron in the West Bank.
The official told Israel Radio on Friday that the group was planning attacks meant to take place in Israel.
Palestinian police were first alerted to the cell after a report was received of people preparing explosives inside an apartment. Five members of the cell were then arrested.
The report said that cell members were in the early stages of preparing the necessary materials to make an explosive device and a search of the house did not find any completed explosives.
The official said that Palestinian security forces have arrested other Hamas military cells in Hebron
, Kalkilya, Nablus and Jenin since the beginning of the year.
On April 15, Israeli security forces arrested 29 Hamas cell members in the Nablus area. The cell’s members – who came from the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem – purchased a vehicle and underwent firearms training, while also gathering intelligence on targets, the Shin Bet said. They were reportedly being funded by Hamas overseas headquarters.
“They were arrested before they were able to carry out the attack. We have seized firearms in the course of the investigation,” the security agency stated.
One of the suspects arrested at the start of March was named as Ma’an Sa’ar, the alleged head of the cell. Sa’ar, from the northern West Bank village of Burka, worked at the Abu Dis University cafeteria. A Hamas member, he served a prison sentence from 2009 to 2011 for his involvement in a shooting attack on the IDF.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.