Security forces arrest 5 veteran Hamas members in Hebron raids

Raids did not disrupt imminent terror plot, but targeted operatives for ongoing Hamas activities in the area.

IDF and Shin Bet raid home of Otniel terrorist (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
IDF and Shin Bet raid home of Otniel terrorist
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
Security forces arrested four veteran Hamas members in Hebron overnight between Saturday and Sunday for alleged activities on behalf of the terror organization, as well as a fifth member in Dir Samat, west of Hebron.
The suspects were not about to carry out an imminent terror attack, but were allegedly involved in activities within the organization, security sources said.
The arrest raids were conducted by the IDF, Border Police, and Judea and Samaria District police. A suspect who allegedly took part in rioting and unorganized terrorism was arrested in Halhoul, west of Hebron.
Earlier on Friday, Security forces, acting on Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intelligence, arrested three members of a terrorist cell near Tulkarm.
The suspects include a member of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service, the Shin Bet added.
The cell members, from Danaba near Tulkarm, allegedly carried out a gun attack on the army on January 20, injuring an IDF soldier.
Two of the cell members were gunmen.
The third suspect, named as Ala Barkawi, 32, works in the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service and is accused of aiding the gunmen after the attack and hiding the firearm used to open fire on the IDF.
Security forces said, “The three were taken for questioning by the Shin Bet, and confessed to carrying out the shooting. They disclosed the location of the firearm they used in the attack.”
Earlier this month, the Shin Bet broke a Hamas cell allegedly plotting shootings on Israeli targets around Hebron.
According to the intelligence agency, a joint operation with the IDF led to the arrest in November 2015 of a three-man Hamas terror cell based in Hebron, whose members planned to fire on Israeli traffic on Route 35 near the West Bank city.
Earlier in January, the Shin Bet intelligence agency announced that it had thwarted a Hamas plot to kidnap and murder Israelis to trade their bodies for Palestinian prisoners.
And at the end of December, the Shin Bet announced it had disrupted a large-scale Hamas terrorist cell that was based in the Abu Dis area of the West Bank, near Jerusalem, and which plotted bombings and suicide bombing attacks in Israel.
Had the attacks not been thwarted, they would have led to mass casualty incidents and plunged the region into a security escalation, the agency warned.