The ISA investigations led to operations during which considerable ordnance was seized from the infrastructure, including sufficient explosive material to make three to four explosive belts.
The Israeli Security Agency (ISA), in cooperation with the IDF and the Israel Police, have uncovered an extensive Hamas infrastructure that was directed by senior Hamas officials abroad and operated throughout Judea and Samaria in order to perpetrate various attacks – including on a large scale – in Judea and Samaria as well as in Jerusalem.
In this context, the ISA, IDF and Israel Police have – in recent weeks – arrested over 50 Hamas terrorists throughout Judea and Samaria who were involved in establishing the terrorist infrastructure. Money, munitions, weapons and equipment for preparing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were seized.
The activity was financed by senior Hamas officials led by Saleh Arouri, Hamas Deputy Chairman and head of its ‘West Bank District,’ which is located abroad and works to advance Hamas operations in the Judea and Samaria region and in Jerusalem.
Working alongside Arouri are additional deportees, one of the most prominent of whom is Zacharia Najib, originally a resident of eastern Jerusalem, who was among the kidnappers of the late soldier Nachson Wachsman.
He was among the 1,027 security prisoners released in the 2011 in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, a number of whom were rearrested for continued terror activity. Najib works to advance Hamas operations in Judea and Samaria.
In 2019, his involvement was uncovered in planning the assassination of prominent Israelis. Najib has been identified as one of the principal figures in the effort to establish this terrorist infrastructure.
The terrorist infrastructure recruited terrorists from various areas in Judea and Samaria, including Ramallah, Hebron and Jenin. Hijazi Kawasmeh was one of the main terrorists involved in establishing the infrastructure on the ground.
Kawasmeh, 37, a known Hamas terrorist from Hebron, has been arrested numerous times for Hamas activity, including planning operations. He comes from a family of prominent Hamas members, chief of whom is Mahmoud Kawasmeh, who was deported to Gaza in the Shalit deal and who works from there to advance Hamas operations in Judea and Samaria.
Hijazi Kawasmeh recruited Hamas terrorists in Judea and Samaria, including Hamza Zaharan, 40, from Bidu, near Ramallah.
Promise of Financing for an Abduction
In order to advance the attack, Hijazi Kawasmeh met senior figures from headquarters abroad and received instructions to carry out attacks. Saleh Arouri offered him approximately one million dollars if an abduction was carried out. Subsequently, hundreds of thousands of shekels were transferred to him to expedite the operation.
Zaharan, who has been arrested numerous times for involvement in Hamas operations, including planning attacks, also joined in the effort to establish the terrorist infrastructure and – inter alia – recruited his brother Ahmed Zaharan as well as additional family members. These worked – with the funds that had been received from abroad – to acquire weaponry and prepare IEDs, which were seized during the ISA operations.
On September 26, Ahmed Zaharan and two additional terrorists were killed in exchanges of fire with the security forces during ISA operations against the infrastructure in Bidu.
Locating and Seizing Materials for Manufacturing IED’s
The ISA investigations led to operations in the field during which considerable ordnance was seized from the infrastructure, including sufficient explosive material to make three to four explosive belts.
Hamas terrorists Muhammad Abu Al-Hassan and Abdul Ani Khidur, from Burkin and Sira respectively, were identified as senior figures in the production of explosives.
Hamas operatives from abroad and Gaza continue their incessant efforts to recruit residents from Judea and Samaria for terrorist activities. These efforts include an ongoing flow of funding for diversified terrorist operations.
One of those most conspicuously involved is Musa Dudin, from Yatir, released and deported in the Shalit deal. He is an associate and right-hand man of Saleh Aruri, who is involved in bringing in terrorist money through Hamas emissaries in Judea and Samaria. This activity recently led to the thwarting of the terrorist infrastructure in the Hebron area.
“This is an extensive and significant pre-emptive thwarting of a dangerous terrorist infrastructure, which had planned a series of attacks,” said a senior ISA official in a statement.
“The purpose of the intensified terrorist activity of Hamas operatives abroad and in Gaza, through operatives in the Judea and Samaria, is to undermine stability in the area, while exacting a heavy price from local residents,” he said.
The ISA, together with the IDF and the Israel Police, will continue to take resolute action against Hamas recruitment and the organization’s efforts to strengthen itself in Judea and Samaria, in order to reach all those involved in these efforts and thwart them in advance.
(United with Israel).