A six-member Hamas cell responsible for blowing up an Israeli bus last month, wounding 20 people, has been arrested according to details revealed on Sunday morning by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). The cell also planned a series of additional shooting and suicide car-bombings in and around Jerusalem, according to the Shin Bet.
The arrested Hamas operatives, all from the Bethlehem area, are Muhammad Sami al-Hameed Al-Ezza, 26, Muhammad Issa Mahmoud Al-Barbari, 26, Muhammad Majdi Mustafa al-Ezza, 21, Ahmed Muhammad Mahmoud Mashaikh, 19, Ali Ahmed Muhammad Arouj, 30, and Said Osama Issa Harmas, 30.
Al-Hameed Al-Ezza and Al-Barbari were also allegedly involved in a shooting attack in 2015 that caused no casualties. Three of them served previous prison terms for involvement in terrorist activity.
Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, 19 years old, committed the April 18 bus bombing by detonating an explosive device on the number 12 public bus in Jerusalem and injuring 20 people, including one seriously. Abu Srour died of his wounds in hospital two days later. After the attack, the Hamas terror group hailed him as a “martyr.”
The Shin Bet has now revealed that the bombing was intended as a suicide attack – Harmas allegedly helped write Abu Srour’s will before the bombing and took his photo, presumably to prepare a martyrdom poster.
The Shin Bet investigation revealed that the homemade explosive device was manufactured by Al-Hameed Al-Ezza out of readily available materials and using information found on the internet.
The investigation files have been transferred to the military prosecution and indictments are expected in the next days, along with requests to detain the suspects until the end of court proceedings against them.