The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) thwarted a major Hamas terrorist attack in Jerusalem after an explosive charge ready for use and a laboratory were uncovered in Hebron.The cell had been planning the attack before it was broken up by a joint Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police investigation. It was operating under direction from Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip to carry out attacks against Israeli and Palestinian Authority targets.Cell members were instructed to establish teams for carrying out kidnapping, shooting and stabbing attacks, to purchase weapons and to recruit others for carrying out terrorist attacks, the Shin Bet said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the security forces, saying “our enemies should know that our long arm will reach whoever tries to attack us.”
In June, 22-year-old Hebron resident Tamar Rajah Rajbi, a student at the Polytechnic College in Hebron and an activist in Hamas’s student arm Al-Kotla al-Islamiya, was arrested at his home. At the time of his arrest, Rajbi was in possession of a 3 kg. explosive device with dozens of pieces of metal attached to it, which would have likely caused extensive collateral damage when it exploded.As part of the interrogation by the Shin Bet, it emerged that Rajbi had been recently recruited by Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip to serve as a manufacturer of explosives. He was trained by Hamas operatives in the blockaded coastal enclave over the Internet as to how manufacture explosive devices. In addition to what was seized by Israeli authorities, Rajbi was asked by his handlers to manufacture additional charges.
“The military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip continues to invest considerable efforts in establishing terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank with the aim of promoting terrorist attacks in Israel aimed at undermining regional stability,” a senior Shin Bet officer said.“Hamas exploits the youth in the West Bank by harming them and their families for the purpose of promoting terrorist activities, and even exploits humanitarian credentials granted by the State of Israel for this purpose. The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and the Israel Police, will continue to thwart terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens,” he added.Last month, the Shin Bet announced that it foiled a series of attempts by the military wing of Hamas to establish terrorist cells in the West Bank and that it had arrested an explosives expert who entered Israel with a humanitarian permit for medical treatment.Fadi Abu al-Sabah, a 35-yearold resident of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, was arrested in Taiba by the Shin Bet and the Israel Police on May 18.