i24NEWSSeptember 19, 2022 at 08:12 AMlatest revision September 19, 2022 at 08:49 AM
‘These arrests reveal the continuous efforts of Hamas… to destabilize the West Bank’
Israeli forces dismantled an alleged terrorist cell planning to carry out bombings and shootings in the West Bank, and arrested seven of its members earlier this month, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service said Monday.
Those arrested were part of a cell connected to Gaza’s ruling faction Hamas, and took instructions from Yahya Amer Muhammad Abu Saifan, a Hamas member in the Gaza Strip who recruits Palestinians in the West Bank, according to the Shin Bet.
The Shin Bet said the seven members, who were all from the Nablus area and Hebron – respectively north and south of Jerusalem – practiced shooting and conducted tests with explosive devices. Several guns and explosive materials were seized following their arrests.
Abu Saifan provided the cell with instructions and funding to purchase materials to build bombs, the Shin Bet added.
The cell members – Masab Himouni, Ahmed Abu Daoud, Izz a-Din a-Zin, Imad Abu Khalaf, and Abdullah Quasma from Hebron, and Mamoun Hanani and Kamaal Hanani, from the Beit Furik village near Nablus – were all charged with serious security offenses.
“These arrests and investigations reveal, once again, the continuous efforts of Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip and abroad, whose goal is to destabilize the [West Bank] and raise the level of violence on the ground, while recruiting terrorist operatives in the [West Bank] in order to advance attacks,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
The arrests came as Israeli security forces are on high alert amid a resurgence of tensions in the West Bank.