The IDF, Shin Bet and Israel police stopped a Hamas terror cell planning to fire at soldiers near Abus Dis during Purim, it was cleared for publication on Tuesday.
The members of the cell, who were arrested in early March, bought a car to be used in the attack, trained in shooting and collected intelligence on their target.
The two central members of the cell were leader Ma'an Nur al-Din Ahmad Shaer and Daud Raja Daud Adwan. Both were previously imprisoned in Israel. Shaer served time for his involvement in shootings at IDF soldiers in the past.
Shaer worked in the cafeteria of the Abu Dis University and is a Hamas member who served time in prison for his involvement in a terrorist shooting at Israeli army forces. The second, Adwan, is also a Hamas member who served time in prison and has knowledge of fire arms.
According to the report, the members of the cell bought a car, and trained with fire arms and also collected information about the target. They had in their possession an AK-47 assault weapon, a 9mm gun and 40 bullets. During the investigation the weapons in question were discovered.
Shaer was the commander of the cell, and was the one who initiated the planning of the attack, which was originally to take place in Jerusalem. He enlisted Dawud, who recommended they change the target to a IDF soldiers standing at a checkpoint near Jerusalem. In addition, Shaer planned on recruiting another operative, who would be used as a getaway driver.
The plot is part of a number of incidents in the past two months in the Jerusalem area. On February 22, an Arab assailant stabbed a Jewish citizen near city hall in Jerusalem. On the March 6, a terrorist ran over five people, some of them officers in the border police. According to the Shin Bet, this shows great motivation from Hamas to execute terror attacks in the Jerusalem area, and the willingness of Hamas members to go back to jail.
Shaer and Adwan will be indicted in the next few days in a military court in the Judea area. The car they used will also be confiscated.
Tazpit News Agency contributed to this report