Israel’s security forces were successful in thwarting attempts by Hamas to establish a broad terror network in the Samaria region.
Israel’s security forces have exposed in recent months a broad Hamas terror infrastructure in Shechem (Nablus) that was striving to reestablish a hold in Judea and Samaria, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) announced Wednesday.
An active Hamas terror cell was also uncovered. It was in the advanced stages of planning terror attacks but was caught before the plan could be implemented.
In total, some 40 terrorists, including senior Hamas members who have previously served time in Israeli jails for terror activity, were arrested in the joint IDF-Shin Bet operations against the Shechem terror network.
According to the Shin Bet, the terrorists revealed during questioning that Hamas has been working to establish their operations in Samaria through the founding of a central command center in Shechem, including the appointing of local commanders and a clearly defined breakdown of spheres of responsibility to promote the Hamas agenda, namely, education, finance, charity, legal, communications, intelligence research, provision of economic assistance to the families of Hamas prisoners jailed in Israel and actual terror activity.
The security agency stressed that the arrests expose “once again the many efforts the Hamas leadership on the ground and abroad exerts to build a wide, stable and continuously funded infrastructure capable of carrying out independent actions in Samaria…. All of this is done in order to strengthen the organization’s hold on the area and to prepare the ground when the time comes to carry out terror attacks.”
Terror Directed from Qatar
The cell was directed by the Hamas leadership in Qatar. Husam Badran, previously of Shechem and also known as the Hamas spokesman, was directly involved in the decision-making process and in giving orders, and he sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance the terror activities.
The money was transferred by way of gold and jewelry that was purchased in Jordan and then smuggled, with the assistance of a gold merchant from Shechem whose store in the city is used to launder money for Hamas. In total, some $1 M in jewelry and gold was uncovered in the operation.
The Shin Bet also uncovered an armed Hamas cell from the Jenin area that had acquired binoculars and night-vision equipment to use in planned terror attacks.
The terror operatives were using code names, aliases, couriers, USB drives and holding secret meetings in an attempt to conceal their activities. Indictments against them will be submitted to the Judea and Samaria military court in the coming days.
By: United with Israel Staff
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