The Shin Bet said on Monday it had arrested two young West Bank Palestinians who were recruited by the Gaza Strip's Hamas organization to carry out acts of terrorism against Israel.
Both suspects, hailing from the village of Beit Ummar near Bethlehem, are set to be indicted for terrorism charges. One of the suspects is only 16 years old.
The terror group, which rules the Palestinian coastal enclave, recruited the suspects through the internet and instructed them to gather intelligence and carry out attacks on nearby Israeli settlements.
Hamas intended to supply the suspects with funds, weapons and uniforms to execute the operation.
According to the indictment bill, the Shin Bet claimed the two were recruited by Bilala Karad - an operative in Hamas' cyber unit - and were in contact with their Gaza handlers for months.
The Hamas handlers said the organization would claim responsibility for the two's actions.
During their investigation, the suspects said that they were given instructions to abduct an Israeli from one of the nearby settlements, carry out a shooting attack and gather intelligence on settlements in exchange for cash.
Suspects surveilled two settlements near their village and relayed photos as well as a map of an IDF assembly area to their handlers. They had also tried to build an explosive device but to no avail.
The Shin Bet said in a statement that its investigation "has unveiled the scope of Hamas' efforts to enlist minors while completely disregarding their families."