Diskin: Israel in midst of terror wave

12 would-be bombers thwarted on way into Israel recently, Shabak head reveals.

masked hamas 88.298 (photo credit: )
masked hamas 88.298
(photo credit: )
Twelve would-be suicide bombers have been arrested recently on their way into Israel to carry out attacks, head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Yuval Diskin revealed at the Sunday cabinet meeting. "We are in the midst of a wave of terror. The security situation is growing graver," Diskin warned. Addressing the cabinet Sunday, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz also cautioned that attempts to carry out terror attacks were on the rise lately. Hamas operative nabbed for planning abductions A Hamas terrorist from Gaza who infiltrated into the Negev and planned to kidnap Israeli civilians or soldiers was arrested by security forces on December 27. Security officials said the arrest of Raid Tsofi, 22, of Rafah proved that at the same time Hamas announced it was upholding the truce or tahdiya, it continued planning and launching attacks against Israeli citizens. The officials recalled the abduction and subsequent murder of Sasson Nuriel in September last year, carried out by Hamas terrorists. Details released by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Sunday revealed that Tsofi was instructed by Hamas operatives in Gaza to kidnap soldiers or civilians and hold them as a bargaining chip to secure the release of Palestinian security prisoners incarcerated in Israel. Prior to leaving Rafah, he underwent military training exercises to prepare him for the mission. On the night of his arrest, Shin Bet operatives and a special Border Police unit who detained him discovered a number of items that he was to use in the planned attack. Tsofi entered Egypt via the Rafah border crossing and from there continued to Sinai. Officials refused to reveal the exact location of where he succeeded in infiltrating into Israel before he was caught, or how long he was in Israel. Meanwhile the lifting of a gag order by the Nazareth Magistrate's Court on Sunday revealed that Nawaf Hatib Sha'aban, 31, of Ghajar in the north, is suspected of maintaining contacts with Hizbullah operatives in southern Lebanon and supplying them with maps detailing the location of IDF bases. According to police, Sha'aban was convicted in the past for drug deals. Ghajar, a divided village with half inside Israel and the other half in Lebanon, provides easy access to Hizbullah operatives deployed in the area. According to details released for publication, Sha'aban met with Hizbullah operatives in the northern half of the village. On December 26, Arwa Hassan Ali, 22, a resident of western Galilee, was arrested by security forces in Ghajar. He was caught attempting to sneak into Israel from Lebanon, where he had been held captive by Hizbullah for eight months. Details released by the Shin Bet revealed that Ali, a car thief, had escaped from Israel while on a furlough from prison, and is suspected of revealing details of IDF bases, power stations, and the location of telephone grids and municipal buildings to Hizbullah operatives.