Shin Bet thwarts Hamas cell, planning bombings in Israel

While Israel has been preoccupied with dealing with terror-related challenges posed out of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli security agency, Shin Bet, recently uncovered an extensive Hamas network that – according to Israel – sought to carry out bombings in both central Israel and the West Bank. The members of this network had reportedly gathered significant quantities of explosives and were planning to commit bombing attacks in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and across the West Bank. Israel’s internal security agency described the Hamas network as exceptional in terms of its size and the scope of its activity. The Palestinian cell, most of whom are members of Hamas, began to operate in October 2017 and were arrested in April of this year. The attacks that were planned included: a bombing attack in Tel Aviv; a suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem, among other planned attacks across other-parts of Israel, including the West Bank. According to the Israeli security services, some of those attacks were thwarted thanks to the arrest of members of the Hamas network. A senior Shin Bet officer responded following the publication that “This case again shows the desire and efforts that Hamas is investing in building terrorist infrastructures in Judea and Samaria in order to carry out severe attacks in Israel. This case also indicates Hamas’ desire to carry out attacks against Israeli targets while undermining the current relative quiet.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the successful Israeli operation that uncovered the Hamas cell; emphasizing in a televised statement, that the ongoing attempts by Hamas to attack Israel forces Jerusalem to maintain its security control over all areas west of the Jordan river. “The ISA, the IDF and the Israel Police have thwarted a Hamas terrorist cell that sought to carry out horrific attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, from Nablus in Judea and Samaria. Hamas is trying to attack us from both Gaza, and Judea and Samaria. This is why we will continue to maintain security control of all areas west of the Jordan River,” Netanyahu said.