Mofaz: Arrest of Hebron Hamas Leader Should Reduce Attacks

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Wednesday that he hoped the arrest of the Hamas military leader in Hebron, suspected of engineering twin suicide bombings in Be'er Sheva on August 31, would reduce the number of terrorist attacks against Israelis.

Imad Kawasme, thought to have dispatched the bus bombers who carried out the attacks on two Be'er Sheva buses in which 16 people were killed, surrendered when Israel Defense Forces troops surrounded his safe house in the West Bank city.

"Kawasme is a mass-murderer whose hands were soaked in blood of many of Israel's civilians. I very much hope that the arrest will disrupt the [Hamas] infrastructure in Hebron and reduce the number of attacks emanating from the region," said Mofaz.

The surrender of a member of the Hamas military wing, Iz a Din al-Kassam, is quite a rare occurrence, as the organization's militants in Hebron and Nablus have in the past two years preferred a fight to the death.

Soldiers from the elite Golani unit surrounded Kawasma's safe house in Hebron, called for him to turn himself in and opened fire.

Kawasme emerged from the safe house carrying a white flag and surrendered. There were no injuries in the raid.