interior minister in Gaza
Fathi Hamad is behind attempts to launch terror attacks against Israel
from the West Bank, a Shin Bet report published Wednesday revealed.
According to the Shin Bet
report, which was based on testimonies given during interrogation of Hamas operatives arrested in the West Bank in the past few months, Hamad, who holds extremist anti-Israel views, used operatives from the "Defenders of al-Aqsa" faction and Hamas itself, and was involved in attempts to smuggle explosives. The attempts were thwarted by Israeli security forces.
Hamad's involvement was exposed during the interrogation of a Hamas terror cell arrested recently in the Ramallah area. The terror cell members claimed that they were in contact with Hamad's close associates and were prepared to carry out terror attacks on his behalf.
The attacks they were preparing included setting explosive devices, planning abductions, and launching rockets. They exchanged emails, spoke on the telephone with the West Bank and were trained on the creation of weapons while receiving assistance in enlisting operatives for their activities.
During the interrogation they admitted that they received instructions to abduct a soldier, and take his ID and cell phone in order to conduct negotiations, after which they were told to kill and bury the soldier in a secret location.
Members of the cell were in the advanced planning stages and had even sent a message to the Gaza Strip declaring their preparedness to act within a few days.
The Shin Bet estimates that the activity was part of increased efforts of Hamas senior operatives in Gaza to carry out terror attacks against Israel – a flagrant violation of the Pillar of Defense
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