PM Netanyahu on Arrest of Hamas Terrorist Cell

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, (Sunday, 17 June 2018), issued the following statement: "The ISA, the IDF and the Israel Police have thwarted a Hamas terrorist cell that sought to carry out horrific attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, from Nablus in Judea and Samaria. Hamas is trying to attack us from both Gaza, and Judea and Samaria. This is why we will continue to maintain security control of all areas west of the Jordan River."

Major Nablus-based Hamas Terrorist Cell Arrested

The following has been cleared for publication: The Israel Security Agency, the IDF and the Israel Police have, in recent months, uncovered an extraordinarily large and active Hamas infrastructure that operated in the Nablus area. (It should be noted that various deadly cells, which were responsible for many serious terrorist attacks over the years, also originated in the Nablus area.). The infrastructure in question was active from October 2017 until its over 20 members were detained in late April 2018. Most of its members belonged to Hamas; some had extensive experience in terrorist operations including the production of explosives and IEDs. ISA investigations of the suspects have revealed that the infrastructure intended to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel and Samaria including a bomb attack in Tel Aviv, a suicide attack in Jerusalem, a bomb attack in Itamar, and shooting attacks in Samaria. These attacks were thwarted, some at the last minute, due to the arrest of the infrastructure members. In the course of the above investigations various IEDs were seized, including one weighing 10 kilograms and which was to be operated by a cellular phone, as well as approximately 15 kilograms of explosive material, raw materials for the production of explosives, weapons and instructions for the manufacture of bombs and explosive materials.(See attached photos.)

In addition to the main infrastructure, additional Hamas cells which planned to carry out attacks were also uncovered. The infrastructure was led by two Hamas members from Nablus who recruited the other members and were responsible for both planning the attacks and manufacturing the IEDs: * Mutassem Nuhammad Salem, 35, resident of Nablus and Hamas member; and * Fares Kamil Zavidi, 33, resident of Nablus and Hamas member. A senior ISA officer said, "This case again shows the desire and efforts that Hamas is investing in building terrorist infrastructures in Judea and Samaria in order to carry out severe attacks in Israel. This case also indicates Hamas' desire to carry out attacks against Israeli targets while undermining the current relative quiet. Severe attacks and loss of life have been prevented. We, along with our partners in the IDF and Israel Police, will continue to take determined action to thwart Hamas's murderous intentions. Infrastructure members will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. Attached photo credits: ISA

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