Overnight, Israel arrested a top Hamas operative in Hebron. Wanted for the last 16 years by the IDF, Ayyub al-Qawasmi, 50, is responsible for masterminding numerous terror attacks since the Second Intifada, which began in 2000.
Al-Qawasmi was arrested in a joint operation between the Israel Security Agency and the IDF. A member of Hamas’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, al-Qawasmi was arrested by Palestinian security forces three years ago but was released from Palestinian custody two weeks ago. According to the IDF, al-Qawasmi immediately began to plan and coordinate terror activities on behalf of Hamas.
Upon his release, al-Qawasmi went into hiding and has been trying to evade Israeli security forces since. The Shin Bet uncovered that al-Qawasmi was hiding in Hebron with relatives.
According to Ynet, an undercover IDF unit arrived in a vehicle bearing Palestinian license plates. The IDF unit raided al-Qawasmi’s family store and arrested the terrorist. He was immediately transferred to a nearby army base for questioning.
The arrest of al-Qawasmi is a small victory for the IDF. On Monday night in Judea and Samaria, Israeli police, in conjunction with the IDF and Border Police, arrested 14 Palestinian men who are believed to be behind recent rock throwing attacks. The men are also charged with illegal weapons hoarding, carjacking, and drug dealing.
When arrested, police confiscated weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition which would have potentially been used in future terror attacks against Israel.