The Shin Bet and Israel Defense Forces arrested a 21-year-old Rafah resident who had infiltrated Israel and planned to anesthetize and kidnap soldiers, the defense establishment cleared for publication Sunday.
Jamal Abu-Dueba was arrested on September 21 after infiltrating Israel from Egypt. He told his Shin Bet investigation that he was sent by Hamas in Gaza to abduct soldiers and smuggle them into the Strip for the sake of a prisoner exchange deal.
He said he has entered the Strip from Egypt through a tunnel on the Philadelphi route, and spent several weeks in Sinai during which he made the final arrangements to enter Israel and carry out the attack.
According to Abu-Dueba, senior Hamas men in Gaza funded and trained the members of his cell and were in direct contact with him during his stay in Sinai.
His cell's goal was to kidnap soldiers and smuggle them into the Strip through Egypt so that they could be used as bargaining chips in future negotiations for the release of Palestinian prisoners. He was slated to carry out the attack together with another cell members waiting in Egypt.
The plan was to tempt Israeli troops to approach the Israel-Egypt border under the guise of a drug deal. In the next stage, Abu-Dueba was to put the soldiers to sleep and kidnap them into the Strip through a tunnel, with the help of a jeep.
He was caught in possession of tranquilizers, which he said were meant to help him subdue the soldiers.
Abu-Dueba had stayed in Israel several times as an illegal resident. He took advantage of his relations with criminal elements in order to conceal his acts. The attack was thwarted at a time when Hamas has promised to maintain the ceasefire and refrain from any terrorist activities against Israeli targets.