Hamas agent plotted to kidnap Israelis, indictment says

Probe revealed plans to fire rockets from Jordan into Israel, and how a "Gaza aid" flotilla was used by Hamas to transfer equipment.

Suspect in court judge handcuffs arrest hearing 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Suspect in court judge handcuffs arrest hearing 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
An indictment was filed on Thursday in the Central District Court in Petah Tikva against Hamza Muhammad Yusuf Othman, a suspected Hamas agent.
The 28-year-old Jordanian citizen also has a Palestinian Authority identity card.
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He is charged with multiple counts of contact with foreign agents, membership in prohibited groups, providing services to prohibited groups, carrying out prohibited military training, conspiracy and weapons offenses, according to the indictment.
Othman is also accused of establishing a covert Hamas paramilitary cell to attack Israeli targets in Jordan.
Through that cell, Othman plotted to kidnap Israeli civilians and diplomats in Amman, shoot at the Israeli Embassy and fire shells from Jordan into Israel, the indictment claims.
Othman’s connection with Hamas began in 2009, when he contacted a man named Abu Jafar in Jordan and asked to join al- Jamiya al-Islamiya (The Islamic Society), a Hamas front organization.
By early 2010, Othman was already being assigned tasks by Hamas. His first job was to take money from Jordan to the families of security prisoners in the West Bank.
Then, in October 2010, Othman became involved in a group connected with the “Gaza Aid” flotilla.
He bought vehicles, ostensibly designated for use as ambulances, in order to move them via the flotilla from the Latakia port in Syria via al-Arish in Egypt to the Hamas leadership in Gaza.
As part of his flotilla work, Othman traveled to Syria and met with Hamas agents there. One of them, a man named Abu Talal, asked Othman to transfer seven two-way radios to Gaza via the flotilla.
It would be Abu Talal who, a few months later, would induct Othman as a full Hamas member, and offer to help train Othman’s covert Hamas military cell.
Having reached Gaza on the flotilla, Othman was introduced to senior Hamas leaders who gave him training in the use of Kalashnikov rifles and other weapons.
After returning to Jordan, Othman made a second trip to Syria.
While there, he contacted another Hamas activist, Abu Omar, to receive the two-way radios he had been asked to transfer to the Hamas leadership in Gaza on another flotilla.
It was on this trip that Abu Talal asked Othman to become a Hamas member.
He also gave Othman $30,000 to buy more vehicles for the second flotilla journey.
By early 2011, Othman and other Hamas members had decided to establish a military cell in Jordan, in order to attack Israeli targets.
He contacted Abu Talal in Syria and asked him to help establish a Hamas military training camp for the cell in Damascus.
Meanwhile, Othman plotted the goals of the military cell, which included shooting IDF soldiers patrolling the Jordanian border, kidnapping an Israeli citizen in Amman, abducting Israeli diplomatic personnel in Jordan, shooting at the Israeli Embassy in Amman and firing missiles into Israel.
In order to advance the plot against the embassy, Othman suggested renting an apartment nearby in order to observe its security procedures.
The cell also discussed acquiring a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to fire at the embassy, and also gathered intelligence about how to build and fire rockets into Israel.
When plans to train in Syria were delayed because of tensions between that country and Jordan, Othman asked Assan Do’ar, a Jordanian Hamas member, to mobilize activists in the West Bank to carry out attacks against Israeli targets.
Othman also contacted a West Bank Hamas activist, Fa’adi al- Daba’as, who agreed to come to Jordan to train the cell, but demanded that Othman visit him in the West Bank beforehand to pay him.
On July 11, Othman crossed into the West Bank to meet Daba’as. He was immediately arrested by Israeli authorities.
Alongside the indictment, state prosecutors also filed a request that Othman be held in custody for the duration of the proceedings.

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