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Security forces arrested a Hamas terror cell in the West Bank that plotted to manufacture and fire rockets, and kidnap and kill a soldier, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Wednesday.
The arrests, carried out by the Shin Bet and the IDF, occurred in January and February, and also disrupted plans by the cell to plant explosives, the Shin Bet added.
It named a central suspect as Ahmed Fahida, a 26-year-old attorney from the Palestinian village of Ras Karkar in the Ramallah Governate, as the head of the terror cell, and a contact man for Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Several others are also under arrest.
“During questioning, it emerged that Fahida was recruited to the Izz Adin Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’s military wing) by Ahmed Uda, a Hamas member in Gaza,” a statement said. Fahida was ordered to kidnap a soldier, steal his ID and cell phone for negotiations with Israel, and then to kill and bury his future victim.
Fahida and an accomplice began preparing to carry out their attacks, gathering weapons and materials to create rockets, according to the investigation.
Contect between Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank recruits occurred over email and phone, over which instructions were passed on how to create explosives and recruit additional members. The terror suspects also considered obtaining an encryption program to store their computer files, security forces said.
Days prior to the arrests, Fahida informed his handlers in Gaza that they were ready to begin the attacks.
The suspects were charged in the Judea Military Court in March.
The arrests are part of a wider ongoing effort by security forces to thwart Hamas terrorism in the West Bank that is being directed from Gaza.
In March , the Shin Bet announced the arrest of a Hamas cell in the West Bank which had been ordered to create and fire rockets at Israel, kidnap and murder a soldier, and carry out suicide bombings.
The cell had been set up by Gaza’s interior minister, Fathi Hammad, the Shin Bet added.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Shin-Bet-arrest-terrorists-planning-to-kidnap-kill-soldier-312478