(Israeli Security Agency)
Hamas terror cell

Hamas cell sought to use an explosive drone to attack Jerusalem’s light rail, assassinate a right-wing MK and kidnap Israelis.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Israeli security forces foiled a Hamas terror cell plotting to attack Jerusalem’s light rail with an explosive aerial drone, assassinate a far-right Knesset member, and kidnap Israelis, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced on Tuesday.

The members of the five-man cell were indicted on Tuesday. The Shin Bet said they were arrested in April.

The cell was led by Rashid Rashak, a resident of Jerusalem’s Old City. Other members of the cell were identified as Mansour Tzafadi, Muhammad Salima, Hamza Abu Nab, and Safian Ajaloni, all residents of eastern Jerusalem.

The Shin Bet said Rashak and Tzafadi were known Hamas operatives. Rashak is also accused of recruiting eastern Jerusalem Palestinians to riot during the Muslim month of Ramadan and purchasing fireworks and Hamas flags used during the violence.

Police seized a drone, money and other equipment to be used in the attacks. The Shin Bet said the group intended to hide in either Jenin or Hebron following the attacks.

The Shin Bet said the cell intended to assassinate MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the right-wing Otzma Yehudit party.

Since being elected to Knesset, Ben-Gvir has become a lightning rod for Arab anger particularly for trying to organize flag marches past the Old City’s Damascus Gate and setting up a makeshift temporary parliamentary office in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

On Sunday, Ben-Gvir notified Knesset authorities that he intends to visit the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day, Haaretz reported.

Jerusalem Day — which marks the city’s reunification during the Six-Day of 1967 — falls on Saturday night and Sunday.