Internal security service says recent arrest of several Palestinian terrorists thwarted attack on Kiryat Arba; indictments filed
The Shin Bet internal security service cleared for publication on Wednesday that over the past few weeks it has exposed, in cooperation with the IDF, a number of terror cells in the Hebron area, Ynet reported.
According to the Shin Bet’s announcement, as art of its preparation to kidnap Israelis the Hamas terror cell examined the IDF’s alertness by hurling explosive devices at the fence surrounding Kiryat Arba.
The cell, which consisted of three young Palestinians from Hebron, was led by Muantaz Qawasma (21), a Hamas operative who was imprisoned for aiding his brother. The brother, Meid, was recently expelled to Gaza in the framework of the Shalit prisoner exchange deal. He was involved in transporting the terrorists who carried out a suicide attackin Dimona in 2008.
Another terror cell member, Mahmoud Dwik (21), was also imprisoned in Israel for various terror-related activities.
The Shin Bet said the three admitted to detonating makeshift explosive devices near Kiryat Arba’s security fence on a number of occasions to examine the IDF’s response. The terrorists planned to infiltrate the Jewish city and either kidnap or murder one of the settlers there.
The three also admitted to hurling firebombs on a number of occasions over the past few months.
On March 10 the three terrorists were indicted at the Yehuda Military Court on charges of belonging to an illegal organization, attempting to cause death and planting bombs.
The Shin Bet said another terror cell attacked an Israeli vehicle travelling near Liata. No one was injured in the incident. The bomb was planted on the side of the road, and the terrorists detonated it using cell phones.
Following the incident, two Palestinians from the village of Yata, south of Hebron, were arrested. Ta’ar Daud (26) admitted to manufacturing the explosives and taking part in the attack, while Fatah operative Muhand Mahamra (26) said he had carried out the attack and helped build the bomb.
The two also admitting to carrying out another bombing attack in 2007 and told interrogators that they had also built explosive devices and hurled stones at Israeli targets. The two were indicted on May 22 for building bombs and illegal possession and trade of arms.
The Shin Bet also arrested four Palestinians who were involved in a number of stone-throwing incidents against Israeli soldiers and civilians. Three of the terrorists have been indicted, while the fourth is set to be indicted in the coming days.
Earlier this week the Shin Bet announced that it had arrested nine Palestinians from the Ramallah area for attempting to kidnap an Israeli woman and her daughter.
By Yoav Zitun