The IDF, Israeli police and Shin Bet security service recently busted a Hamas terrorist cell in the West Bank that was planning a major bomb attack in Jerusalem, it was announced on Tuesday.
The Israeli news site Walla reported that the cell had gone so far as to manufacture explosives for the attack, and was being actively guided by Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip.
Jerusalem is a city sacred to
Jews, Christians & Muslims.
Hamas terrorists had a bomb ready, planning to carry out an attack on this Holy City. Together with the Israel Security Agency, we foiled the attack and arrested the terrorists.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 6, 2019
The Gaza handlers were reported to be well-known Hamas terrorists Ramzi Alouk and Ahmed Katari, both deported to the Strip for terrorist activities.
A breakthrough in the investigation was reportedly the arrest of Tamer Rajah Rajbi, 22, in Hebron, a Hamas recruit who set up a bomb-making facility in his home.
Rajbi was apparently part of Hamas’ student wing, al-Kotla al-Islamiya, which the Shin Bet described as “the future generation of Hamas activists.”
When he was arrested, Rajbi surrendered a three-kilogram bomb covered with dozens of metal shards, intended to cause maximum damage to victims when detonated.
Rajbi reportedly recruited another 22-year-old student, Joseph Attrash, also from the West Bank. Attrash helped Rajbi obtain the components necessary to build the bomb.
They had apparently been trained by Hamas operatives in bomb-making and other terrorist activities via the internet.
An anonymous Shin Bet official said that the arrests showed “the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip continues to invest considerable efforts in establishing a terrorist infrastructure in the Judea and Samaria area with the aim of promoting terrorist attacks in the territories aimed at undermining regional stability.”
The official asserted that Hamas “exploits the young people in the Judea and Samaria area while hurting them and their families for the purpose of promoting terrorist activities.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the agencies involved in the arrests, saying, “I commend the Shin Bet, IDF, and police forces for an intelligence-operational effort that thwarted a terrorist attack planned by Hamas on our territory.”
“Our enemies will know that our long arm reaches anyone who tries to harm us,” he added.