Palestinian Forces Arrest Hamas Cell in West Bank Planning to Attack Israelis

West Bank cell was in direct contact with Gaza leadership, also reportedly planning to assassinate Nablus mayor.

Palestinian Authority security forces have arrested militants of a Hamas cell in the West Bank suspected of planning to abduct settlers and carry out suicide attacks in Jerusalem, Palestinian news agencies reported on Wednesday.

According to the Ma'an news agency, the cell was in direct contact with the Islamist movement's leadership in the Gaza Strip. The cell also had plans to assassinate the mayor of Nablus, Jibran Al-Bakhri.

The northern West Bank, notably Nablus and Jenin, but also Tul Karm and Qalqilyah, was where the most lethal terrorist networks established a foothold during the second intifada.

Members of the Hamas terror network, which had its center of operations in Nablus, led the Israeli list of wanted terrorists, a list which has dwindled in the last few years due to both the improved security situation in the West Bank and the increasing cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces.

In the last year, several major terrorist attacks have been carried out in the West Bank, but Israel located the perpetrators, Fatah members from Nablus and Hamas members from the Hebron area, and killed them. Among the few wanted figures still at large are Hamas members operating in Hebron.