The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), IDF and Israeli Police have in recent months broken up a large terrorist network operating in the Nablus region that plotted major attacks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the domestic security agency revealed Sunday.
The network operated from October 2017 until the arrest of its operatives in April. It consisted of over 20 operatives, most of who belong to Hamas, and includes individuals with a “rich history of terrorist activities and the production of explosive devices,” the Shin Bet statement said.
Interrogation of the detainees revealed that they planned to carry out major attacks in large Israeli cities, including planting a bomb in Tel Aviv, a suicide attack in Jerusalem and a shooting attack in Samaria.
Shin Bet agents discovered a powerful 10 kilogram explosive device with cellular activation while investigating the case, as well as 15 additional kilograms of explosives alongside bomb making materials and instructions.
The network was headed by two Hamas operatives, Moatatzem Muhamad Salem (35) and Faras Kamal Zbidi (33), both from Nablus who were responsible for recruiting the network’s members, planning the attacks and manufacturing the explosive devices.
“The uncovering of this case demonstrates, once again, the efforts invested by Hamas in order to establish terrorist infrastructures in Judea and Samaria, with the objective of promoting serious terrorist attacks in Israel,” said a senior Shin Bet official.
“The discovery of the network indicates Hamas’ continued desire to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli targets, while undermining the current relative calm. It prevented the implementation of serious attacks and saved many lives. We will continue with our partners in the IDF and Israel Police to act decisively to thwart the murderous terror networks of Hamas and to bring its members to justice,” the Shin Bet official added.