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.”
Shin Bet detonates explosive charge which was made to be used in a Hamas terrorist attack in Jerusalem (Credit: Shin Bet)
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.
During the investigation, it was uncovered that he had recruited his classmate Yussef Attrash, 22, from the village of Kafr Rai, another member of Al-Kotla al-Islamiya. He is accused of assisting Rajbi in purchasing the necessary components for manufacturing the explosive charge. “The activists of Al-Kotla al-Islamiya constitute the future generation of Hamas activists, and it is evident that efforts have been made, within their membership of the organization, to radicalize their ideological attitudes and perceptions for training them as military activists,” the Shin Bet said. According to the Shin Bet, the manufacturing of the explosives took place in a civilian environment “at the risk of unsuspecting residents nearby. For example, materials were stored in the school grounds adjacent to Rajbi’s home.” The Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip that were involved in planning and directing the thwarted attack were identified by the Shin Bet as 38-year-old Ramzi Elauk – originally from the Aida refugee camp outside Jerusalem before being deported to the Strip – and 29-yearold Jabalya resident and senior Hamas terrorist Ahmed Katari.תיעוד מחברון: מעצר מתכנן פיגוע התופת שחמאס ניסה לבצע בירושלים@roysharon11 https://t.co/afhz8mhxrA pic.twitter.com/QAGxSS9KXZ— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) August 6, 2019
“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.