Israel Nabs Hamas Cell Based in West Bank Suspected of Plotting Attacks

The leader of the cell was apparently enlisted in Jordan and trained in Gaza.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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A Palestinian supporter of Hamas gestures during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, August 30, 2014.
A Palestinian supporter of Hamas gestures during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, August 30, 2014.Credit: AFP
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

The Shin Bet security service announced Sunday that a number of West Bank Palestinians working for Hamas have been arrested over the last few months, plotting to carry out attacks using explosive devices.

The suspects confessed during interrogation to having been enlisted by Hamas in Jordan, and undergoing training in the Gaza Strip, the Shin Bet said. The suspects then returned to the West Bank, according to the Shin Bet, with the intention of carrying out attacks and recruiting further activists in the area to take part in Hamas activities.

The cell was headed by 26-year-old Jama'in resident Amed Abdullah Zeitouni, the Shin Bet said. Zeitouni recruited five Palestinians from his own village and from Jenin to take part in the cell. Two of the suspects arrested over the course of January and February are students at the Al Najah University in Nablus.

The suspects built an explosive laboratory in an apartment in downtown Nablus, the Shin Bet said. Some 25 kilograms of sulfur were seized during the arrests, along with 25 grams of fulminating mercury, the main material used in most ammunition.

The Shin Bet said that the cell was operated remotely by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, who passed along orders to its operatives in the West Bank. The cell was ordered to increase its plans for attack during Operation Protective Edge.

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