The Shin Bet security service has, with the help of the IDF and Israel Police, uncovered over the last few months a large Hamas cell active in the city of Nablus and surrounding towns. The news was cleared for publication on Wednesday.
The cell's leaders were working to renew Hamas activity in the West Bank, including laying the foundation for terror attacks.
The investigation also led to the discovery of a Hamas military cell that was preparing to launch attacks.
Around 40 people were arrested, including senior Hamas members who have been jailed repeatedly.
Questioning of the arrestees revealed that Hamas decided to renew its activities in the West Bank by creating a central headquarters in Nablus and expanding infrastructure, including the appointment of regional chiefs and allocating responsibilities in areas such as education, finance, communications, intelligence, gaining support, charity, transferring financial assistance to Hamas prisoners and their families, and laying the foundation for military action.
The investigation revealed that Husam Badran, a 49-year-old native of Nablus who lives in Qatar, was responsible for organizing the command's members and staying in direct touch with them. Badran was apparently involved in decisions about recruitment for different roles and transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the command center.
The terrorists concealed their activities by using couriers and PO boxes. Funds were transferred partially by purchasing gold from Jordan and smuggling it into the West Bank.