Bassam Omri
Bassam Omri, one of two men charged.
Text size

Two Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, one of them an Israeli citizen, were arrested a month ago on suspicion of conspiring to fire a missile at bleachers in Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium during a soccer match. The two operated as part of Hamas' military wing.

Yesterday, the pair were indicted on counts of membership in a terror organization, firearms infractions and criminal conspiracy charges at Jerusalem's District Court.

Musa Hamada, from Tzur Bahar in East Jerusalem, and Bassam Omri, an Israeli citizen and resident of nearby Beit Safafa, were arrested in late November by Shin Bet officials.

The two, security officials believe, operated for years as members of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. They are suspected of planning to fire a missile at the Jerusalem stadium following the IDF's Operation Cast Lead on the Gaza Strip.

The two are suspected of having purchased firearms and explosives, with the intention of carrying out terror attacks. When they were apprehended, officials found pistols in their possession and a few additional East Jerusalem residents were then detained, on suspicion of having supplied these pistols to the pair. Over the past two years, Hamada visited Saudi Arabia several times, in order to meet Muslim Brotherhood contacts and receive funds for firearms purchases, security officials believe.

Defense officials believe that Hamas has in recent months taken steps to step up terror attacks in the West Bank and in the Jerusalem area. Hamas' infrastructure sustained damage during the past three years, owing to intensified Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security service actions. Israeli security forces have also collaborated with members of the Fatah-backed Palestinian Authority security forces, who are wary of Hamas attempts to wrest control of the West Bank.