In a joint operation, Israel’s Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Defense Force (IDF) took down a Hamas terror cell planning a number of large-scale attacks, including one on Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium. Over 30 suspects were arrested and explosives, M-16s and ammunition were confiscated.
The terrorists had been taking their orders from Hamas’ Turkish headquarters, guided by Saleh al-Arouri, the man also responsible for the June kidnapping of three Israeli teens, according to Israel National News. Al-Arouri was also behind another major terrorist cell in Judea and Samaria, broken up in August.
The men were recruited, beginning in 2012, from a number of foreign states, such as Jordan and Kuwait, as well as from within the Palestinian Authority. The cell was based in Judea and Samaria, but the terrorists were also trained abroad, in Turkey, Syria and Jordan. They were smuggled in and out of Gaza via terror tunnels, and relocated to the West Bank this year.
In August, a series of roadside bombs were planted at junctions in Judea and Samaria. While no one was killed, the ensuing investigation uncovered the terrorist ring in question. Investigators also discovered “a wealth of information about the infrastructure” of the terrorist group.
Ynetnews reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments. “This is one operation that has been published but there are many more that remain secret,” he said of Israel’s intelligence work. “These foiling activities are against terrorists and against Hamas, which challenges the existence of a Jewish nation-state and the existence of Jews in general.”
Among the operations planned by the terror cell were infiltration attacks, kidnapping attacks, car bombings, an attack on Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, and an attack on the light rail train in the capital. They also planned to continue recruiting new members in Jordan.
Yisrael Hayom reported Wednesday that Israel has asked NATO to sanction Turkey for allowing Hamas to operate on its soil. Official messages sent through several channels have expressed that it is unacceptable for a NATO member to maintain ties with a terror group.