A Hamas terrorist suspected of cutting gas pipes in residential areas was arrested on Wednesday. Under interrogation, he admitted his guilt.

Jerusalem Police, assisted by the Shin Bet (Israel’s security agency), have arrested Hamas terrorist Ziz Mussa Salam Auysat, 50, a father of six, on suspicion of cutting gas pipes in two residential neighborhoods  – Armon Hanatziv and Gilo  – intending to cause lethal explosions.

In custody since his arrest, Auysat admitted to the allegations during interrogation.

Two sets of gas balloons in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, which is surrounded on three sides by Arab communities, were damaged last week. Dozens of residents were evacuated after leaks were detected in two buildings.

As a result of the attack, the area was permeated with dangerously high concentrations of gas.

The Hamas terrorist “cut the main gas lines in both buildings,” an Israel National News report says. “In one, he went further and lit a candle adjacent to the building in an effort to set off a blast.”

“Firefighting crews rushed to the scene to seal the leak, while police investigated whether the crime was nationalistically motivated,” the report adds.

During interrogation, Auysat said his intention to carry out a major attack was in protest of Israeli attacks against Hamas terrorists in Gaza as well as the increasing number of Jews ascending the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

“Captain Yaniv Piamenta of the Jerusalem Police Central Unit said that the suspect was arrested in his home by special units,” INN reports.

In January, a gas explosion in the Gilo neighborhood killed Avraham Tufan, 56, his wife Galit, 42, and their two-year-old son. Linda Schwartz, 40, also died a few days later. Although that blast was believed to have been accidental – possibly due to negligence – rather than an act of terror, the terrorist was nonetheless “inspired” by the Gilo tragedy, Piamenta said, according to INN.

Auysat, a father of six and resident of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber, also admitted to having attacked a Jewish man in Jerusalem two years ago with an axe, seriously injuring him. The Hamas terrorist said he regretted not having succeeded in murdering the victim, the report says.

Jabel Mukaber is known for anti-Israel incitement and violence. For example, two Hamas terrorists were convicted for transporting a suicide bomber his destination in 2002; the attack killed 19 civilians and wounded 74. In 2008, another suicide bomber from the same neighborhood, who incidentally was gainfully employed and engaged to be married, murdered eight students at Mercaz Harav yeshiva high school. Residents of Jabel Mukaber erected a mourner’s tent for the resident terrorist.

Date: Mar. 12, 2014