The IDF Spokesperson’s office cleared for publication on Sunday that members of a Hamas terror cell were apprehended in a joint IDF, ISA (Shin Bet) and Israel Police sting operation.
Six Palestinian men from the city of Qalqilya in Samaria were arrested. Upon arrest, the suspected terrorists revealed a hidden cache filled with chemicals and explosives.
Security officials said the dozens of kilograms of sulfur, several grams of mercury fulminate as well as other components needed to build bombs were intended for use against Israeli civilians. Upon arrest, the terrorists admitted to plotting a series of terror attacks against Israelis.
While no exact date was given for when the arrests occurred, the declassified announcements tend to come out several weeks after the operation itself takes place.
The terrorists revealed to Shin Bet officers that they had been drafted into the armed wing of Hamas while residing in Jordan. They were supposed to enlist the help of other Hamas operatives across Judea and Samaria after they had been trained in Gaza.
The Shin Bet noted that the terrorists had admitted to forming their terror cell during the summer on the direct orders of Hamas operatives from abroad. Hamas has a great interest in fueling tensions across Palestinian controlled areas as to unsettle the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority government in the area.The terrorists were instructed to carry out attacks in Judea and Samaria as well.
The six terrorist were identified as Abdullah Mehmed Yussuf Zitawi, 26, a resident of Jama’in; Walid Muhammad Mahmoud Abu Zina, 26, of Jenin; Malek Raed Farouk Ghanem, 22, of Amatin; Rejaa Khaled Rejaa Sabara, 22, of Brukin, Jasser Muhammad Sayed Abu Omar, 42, of Jama’in, and Baha al-Din Fathi Mahmoud Suwan, 33, of Amatin.
The IDF and Shin Bet have been stepping up the number of recent sting operations to eliminate terror threats before the terrorists can actualize their plans. Last month, the Israeli security officials busted two other terror cells carried out attacks against IDF patrols in Samaria.