Hamas-linked cell busted for Temple Mount attacks

Shin Bet says 5 suspects responsible for series of violent incidents, including throwing Molotov cocktails at security forces.

Palestinians, Israeli police clash at Temple Mount 311 (R) (photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)
Palestinians, Israeli police clash at Temple Mount 311 (R)
(photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency, in collaboration with Jerusalem police, arrested a Hamas-associated terror cell for a series of attacks on the Temple Mount after Friday prayers on March 8, including throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at security personnel.
During the clashes, nine officers were hurt, the Shin Bet said on Sunday. All five suspects are “identified” with Hamas, and most of them live in the Shuafat refugee camp in northeastern Jerusalem.
The Shin Bet said that under interrogation all five suspects confessed to taking part in the planning and carrying out of the use of the firebombs against Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount.
The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office filed two separate indictments against and involving the five defendants in the district court on March 31.
On March 6, Mamoun Parcha’an planned the conspiracy along with his brother Muhammad Parcha’an and an underage third conspirator known under a gag order as “A.A.” to attack security forces on the Temple Mount when they arrived to control Palestinian protests there, said the indictment.
Later, Omer Mahsin also participated in planning the conspiracy, noted the indictment, and was involved in other actions violating his bail conditions relating to other crimes he is being prosecuted for.
The Shin Bet said the suspects claimed they were motivated by the “desecration of a Koran,” though the book fell from a chair a month earlier when an Israeli officer moved it.
According to the indictment, Mamoun and A.A.
bought gasoline, two plastic juice bottles and six glass juice bottles to make the firebombs. The men used another even younger minor, whose identity is still unknown, to smuggle the bottles into the Aksa mosque under the assumption that he would not be checked as stringently.
This boy smuggled the items into the Temple Mount area where he gave them to A.A. and was paid NIS 5 for the smuggling, said the indictment.
With Mamoun and Muhammad already on the Temple Mount, they recruited the fifth conspirator, Udi Abu Said, to buy two more glass bottles to make more firebombs. according to the indictment.
The conspirators waited until altercations had started between security forces and Palestinians who were throwing rocks and disturbing the peace, and then threw several firebombs at the forces, causing injuries and setting policeman Binyamin Kortzki on fire, the indictment said.
Mamoun has a record of throwing firebombs at security forces dating back to the time of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008-January 2009 as well as between June and October 2012.
“This was a serious attack against security forces on the Temple Mount, that could have very easily caused injuries, and only through a miracle were no officers hurt,” the Shin Bet said on Sunday.