Israeli security agents prevented mass casualties by discovering a massive hamas cell that was planning multiple suicide bombings and other terror activities.

The Shin Bet – Israeli Security Agency – nabbed a large Hamas terror cell in Abu Dis, a Palestinian town just east of Jerusalem, which was planning massive suicide bombings and other acts of terror. Some of the cell members are Israeli citizens.

The investigation, which lasted several weeks, included the discovery of a makeshift laboratory used for creating explosives.

Among the 25 Palestinian Arabs arrested by the Shin Bet, in conjunction with the IDF and Israeli police, most are students at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis. They were all in their late teens or 20s.

The cell’s leader, Ahmad Jamal Mousa Azzam, 24, is from the town of Qalqilya, a known Hamas center of terror located in Samaria, bordering the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba. Indeed, another terror cell in Qalqilya was uncovered just last month.

A university student, Azzam recruited other students, including two Israeli citizens who could move more freely within Israel: Hazem Sandouka, a resident of the Old City of Jerusalem, and Fahdi Abu Qaian, a Bedouin from the Negev.

During the investigation, an explosives laboratory was uncovered in an apartment rented by Azam, the IDF said in a press release, adding that the “terror culprits had purchased illegal materials in shops in Ramallah and around Israel.”

“Azam was in full contact with his operators in the Gaza Strip. He was trained by them as an explosives expert in order to manufacture explosive devices and suicide belts. He was also instructed to recruit fellow students at Al-Quds University in order to purchase materials for the manufacturing of explosive devices, rent spaces for the terror ring, and recruit culprits to facilitate and perpetrate suicide attacks throughout Israel,” the IDF stated.

Both Arab Israelis confessed support for the Islamic State terror group and serve as operatives in local Salafist activities.

A branch of the cell was also uncovered near Bethlehem, which included several students. Those arrested included Isa Shukha, 19, of Bethlehem, who “had agreed to Azam’s proposal to commit a terror attack as well as receive funds from the Gaza Strip,” the IDF announced. “Shukha recruited Mohamed Walid Ahmed Sarhan, 20, of Bethlehem, to be his partner culprit in perpetrating a suicide attack in Jerusalem, as well as Mohamed Naim Isa Ali, 19 also of Bethlehem, to perpetrate a second suicide attack on behalf of the ring.”

“The uncovering of this terror ring at this time has prevented mass casualty attacks against Israeli civilians and an escalation in the security situation,” the IDF concluded, noting the active role played by the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

To view the operation, click HERE.

By: Terri Nir, United with Israel

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