A masked Palestinian boy wearing the headband of Hamas's armed wing takes part in a rally marking the 28th anniversary of Hamas' founding in Gaza City.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Four members of two Palestinian terrorist cells that had planned terrorist attacks near Jerusalem were arrested in January as part of efforts to thwart local terrorist cells in the village of a-Ram near Route 60 adjacent to al-Aroub, the Shin Bet said Wednesday.
Two of the operatives arrested in the joint Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), IDF and Israel Police operation were members of the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Fatah, according to the Shin Bet.
The cell members, residents of a-Ram, are said to have been involved in throwing a pipe bomb at security forces on October 16, 2016, wounding two, and also are suspected of being involved in numerous other terrorist attacks, including the throwing of pipe bombs, fire bombs and stones at security forces, as well as planning a shooting attack against security forces in the area.
The other two, Hamas operatives from the al-Aroub refugee camp in the Hebron region, were arrested and questioned by security forces, who during the course of their investigation, uncovered a Hamas cell that had been planning to carry out shooting attacks against Israeli citizens or IDF forces traveling on Route 60 near al-Aroub.
The Hamas operatives arrested were Ahmed al-Rahman, 25, and Mahand Jabber Muhammed abu Sal, 28, both from al-Aroub. According to the Shin Bet, Abu Sal was recruited by Rahman, who previously had been imprisoned by Israel for taking part in Hamas activities. Rahman served as the head of the cell and was tasked with obtaining weapons for the attacks.
The results of the investigation were transferred to military prosecutors for the purposes of preparing an indictment.
“The exposure of the cells and the operations they were planning shows the high level of motivation of terrorist operatives to carry out serious terrorist attacks and bears witness to the high threat level they pose,” read the Shin Bet statement.
“The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and Israel Police will continue to work with determination to uncover and thwart the activities of terrorist cells, including grassroots terrorist activities,” the statement concluded.
Since the beginning of the latest wave of Arab violencek, numerous attacks by Hamas supporters and members have been thwarted in Judea and Samaria. Earlier this week, two other Hamas cells responsible for extensive terrorist activity in the region and suspected of planning shooting attacks against Israeli citizens and the IDF in the West Bank were broken up.