IDF soldiers in Hebron 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Security forces arrested a Hamas cell operating in the Hebron area, which
planned to kidnap an IDF soldier, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)
announced on Thursday.
The terrorists’ aim was to secure the release of
Palestinian security prisoners.
They were searching for an apartment in
which to hide their future kidnapping victim.
The suspects were in the
process of setting up a Hamas command in Hebron, according to the Shin
Twenty Palestinians, all known Hamas members, were in custody
following the arrests.
Prominent suspects include Nabil Muhammad Awada,
32, from Dura in the South Hebron Hills, who has served time in an Israeli
prison for terrorist activities and who allegedly acted as the cell
Mahmoud Abu Warada, 34, from the nearby village of Fawwar,
allegedly provided weapons to the cell members. A third suspect, Tarek Garaib,
35, from the same area, allegedly acted as a liaison to Hamas’s network
Garaib was in touch with Husaam Badran, a Hamas operative based
in Qatar, who was released in the Gilad Schalit exchange. Badran had been
sentenced to 17 years behind bars for taking part in a bombing inside Israel
during the second intifada.
“Large numbers of weapons have been seized in
the investigation,” the Shin Bet said.
The suspects were charged at the
Judea Military Court with a range of offenses, including plotting to kidnap a
soldier, membership in an illegal organization, weapons offenses, and
maintaining contact with a hostile entity.