Resident of Bedouin town of Segev Shalom recruited by Hamas planned to carry out terror bombing.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Israel’s General Security Service announced Monday it had arrested a Hamas terrorist who was planning to blow up a busy intersection by a major commercial center.
The GSS said that Mahmoud Makdad, 30, a resident of the Bedouin town of Segev Shalom near Beersheba, was initially recruited by the Hamas terror group in Gaza to gather security intelligence, but more recently was instructed and trained to carry out a bombing.
The GSS statement said Makdad was arrested August 15, but details were only released to the public Monday.
Makdad’s mother is an Israeli citizen, but his father is from the Gaza Strip and had qualified to be in Israel under family reunification rules, which allowed Mahmoud to split his life between Segev Shalom and Rafah in Gaza.
Authorities arrested nine members of the family for either actively assisting Makdad, or knowing about the plans and failing to take action. Chief among those arrested was his brother Ahmad Makdad, 32, who was also in contact with Hamas and helped Mahmoud.
Hamas exploited Makdad’s ability to move between Israel and Gaza where they could meet directly with him and give instructions to spy for them by collecting intelligence and observing strategic sites including the locations of the Iron Dome system used to shoot down Hamas rockets.
Over the past months Makdad received training on how to assemble and plant bombs, with Hamas choosing the Bilu junction just outside the city of Rehovot, a busy commercial hub, as his target.
The GSS said Hamas continues to recruit Israeli citizens for espionage missions and to carry out terrorist attacks.
“This is further evidence of the efforts of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip to establish terrorist infrastructure in Israel, as part of a systematic and extensive activity against Judea and Samaria and Israel,” a senior GSS official said.
The official noted that the Hamas leadership continues to try and destabilize the region and that Hamas terror activities are continuing constantly.