Shin Bet breaks up two Palestinian terror cells planning attacks near Jerusalem – Arab-Israeli Conflict

A masked Palestinian boy wearing the headband of Hamas’s armed wing takes part in a rally marking the 28th anniversary of Hamas’ founding in Gaza City.
(photo credit:REUTERS)

Two Palestinian terror cells which planned terror attacks near Jerusalem were arrested in January, the Shin Bet said in a statement on Wednesday.

The joint Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police operation was carried out as part of its efforts to thwart local terror cells in the village of A-Ram near Jerusalem close to Route 60 adjacent to Al-Aroub.

According to the Shin Bet, the operatives that were arrested were members of the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Fatah who carried out wide-ranging terror activities in the A-ram area.

The cell members, who were residents of A-Ram, are said to have been involved in throwing a pipe bomb towards security forces on October 16 2016, wounding two. They are also suspected of being involved in numerous other terror attacks, including the throwing of pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and stones at security forces.

They are also suspected of planning a shooting attack against security forces in the area.

In addition, Hamas operatives from the Al-Arub refugee camp in the Hebron region were arrested and questioned by security forces who during the course of their investigation uncovered a Hamas cell which had been planning to carry out shooting attacks against Israeli citizens or IDF forces traveling on Route 60 near Al-Aroub.

The central suspects that were arrested were Ahmed Abd al-Rahman, 25, a Hamas operative from the Al-Aroub refugee camp and 28 year-old Hamas operative Mahand Jabber Muhammed Abu Sal, also from the Al-Aroub refugee camp.

Abu Sal had been recruited by al-Rahman who had been formerly imprisoned by Israel for taking part in Hamas activities. Al-Rahman served as the head of the cell and tasked with obtaining weapons for the terror attacks.

The results of the investigation into the suspects were transferred to military prosecutors for the purposes of preparing an indictment.

“The exposure of the cells and the operations they were planning shows the high level of motivation of terror operatives to carry out serious terror attacks and bears witness to the high threat level they pose,” read the Shin Bet statement.

“The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and Israel Police will continue to work with determination to uncover and thwart the activities of terror cells, including grassroots terror activities,” the statement concluded.

Since the beginning of the latest wave of violence to hit Israel and the West Bank, numerous attacks by Hamas supporters and members have been thwarted in the West Bank. Earlier in the week two other Hamas cells responsible for extensive terror activity in the region as well as suspected of planning shooting attacks against Israeli citizens and the IDF in the West Bank were broken up.

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