Hamas members take part in a rally 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Monday that security forces
had broken up a Hamas terror cell in Hebron planning attacks on Israeli
The suspects “planned to carry out various terror attacks, but
were arrested before they could put their plans into action,” security forces
said. In particular, they plotted to carry out a combined explosives and
shooting attack on an IDF position in the Hebron area.
The cell was led
by a Hamas member in Gaza who had been released under the prisoner exchange deal
to free captive soldier Gilad Schalit.
A pipe bomb was seized during
raids in the West Bank against the cell.
Most of the suspects have a
record of being active in local Hamas terror cells in Hebron, according to
The suspects include 23-yearold Manjad Junidi of Hebron,
who was arrested in November on suspicion of heading the cell in Hebron and
During questioning, Junidi confessed to being in
touch with Basel Heimuni, originally from Hebron, who was released to the Gaza
Strip as part of the Schalit deal.
Security forces also named Hebron
resident Muhammad Sh’idam, 25, as a cell member.
He is suspected of
manufacturing a pipe bomb and plotting a shooting attack.
have been charged at the Judea Military Court with membership in an illegal
organization, conspiracy to commit manslaughter, possession and manufacture of
arms, creating an explosives device and importing enemy funds.
sources said the arrests signify the ongoing threats posed by Hamas’s
infrastructure in the West Bank, and attempts by the terrorist organization to
strengthen its terror capabilities there.
In May 2012, Hebron resident
Fadi Abu Daoud, 25, was arrested on suspicion of being in contact with Khaled
Taha, who was also released in the Schalit deal, and of plotting to follow
Taha’s instructions to set up a terror cell of suicide bombers and gunmen. Daoud
confessed to meeting with Taha in Saudi Arabia.
In 2011, Israel released
1,200 prisoners in exchange for the release of Schalit, who was being held
captive in Gaza.
Earlier this year, a security source told The Jerusalem
Post that Israel was preventing Hamas from setting up a military infrastructure
in the West Bank, but that such efforts was not stopping the organization’s rise
in popularity on the Palestinian street.
“We don’t wait until there is a
military infrastructure in Hebron and Nablus that is on the way to carrying out
attacks. We stop this before it happens. It’s hard for the organizations to take
off,” the source said.
At the same time, Hamas has been trying to form
student cells at Palestinian universities, and has also attempted to capitalize
on its confrontation with Israel in November to gain more support in the West