2 Arab Israelis charged with helping Hamas

Brothers from Kfar Kana charged with assisting terror cell from West Bank to plot bombings, shootings attacks on Israelis.

Masked Hamas terrorist 311 R (photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)
Masked Hamas terrorist 311 R
(photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)
Two Arab Israeli brothers from the northern village of Kfar Kana were charged at the Nazareth District Court on Thursday with assisting a Hamas terror cell from the West Bank plot lethal bomb and shooting attacks on Israelis.
The brothers were arrested by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and police on suspicion of having been recruited by Hamas in December, though details of the investigation can only be released now following the lifting of a media ban.
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The two men confessed during questioning that they joined a Hamas cell based in the West Bank and had planned on carrying out terrorist attacks, security forces said.
The suspects were named as Amir Farid Yasin Asad, 28, and Mahmad Farid Yasin Assad, 19. The 28-year-old suspect admitted to being in contact with Hamas operator Jafar Sakafi of Hebron, who was due to receive bomb making instructions from Hamas in Gaza. Sakafi asked the older brother, Amir, to help smuggle in explosive belts into Israel for a suicide bomb attack, and the latter agreed, security forces added.
Sakafi was also under arrest and has confessed to plotting bomb attacks in Israel.
The younger brother, Mahmad, confessed to holding contacts with Hamas members in Nablus, Hebron, and the Jerusalem suburbs, "as well as acting as a contact man between the terror elements," according to the investigation.
"He agreed to help them obtain weapons for attacks, collect information on areas where soldiers gather, and to recruit other Arab Israelis," security forces added.
Mahmad is accused of holding a meeting in his home with Wassim Natzatzra, a Hamas member from the village of Beit Furik near Nablus. The purpose of the meeting was to set up a Hamas terror cell in Israel made up of Arab Israelis, who would be tasked with assisting the Beit Furik Hamas cell carry out attacks. The younger brother is also suspected of meeting with a second Hamas operative on the Temple Mount last August, named Ma'aruf Hatatba.
Hatatba was armed with a Carl Gustav rifle, and planned to carry out a terror shooting with it, a security source said. Both Natzatzra and Hatatba were in Israeli custody and confessed to plotting terror attacks. Their statements were used to indict the two brothers. "This case underlines the potential threat of exploiting Arab Israelis for terror plots and for acting as go-betweens for terror cells," a security source said.