Security forces caught yet another Hamas terror cell that planned to attack Israel on Purim, one of the most joyful days of the year for the Jewish people.
Israeli security forces thwarted a deadly terror plot that Hamas terrorists had planned to carry out in Jerusalem in March during the holiday of Purim, a Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) spokesman announced Tuesday.
The Shin Bet investigation reveals that the terrorists had purchased a vehicle, carried out weapons training and gathered intelligence on their targets, but they were arrested in March before they had a chance to carry out the attack. The cell was at an advanced stage of preparation, the Shin Bet stressed.
The two primary suspects were named as Ma’an Nur Aladin Sha’ar, 26, and Daoud Adwan, 32.
Sha’ar, the cell commander, hails from the Palestinian village of Burka in Samaria. He worked at the Abu Dis University cafeteria in Jerusalem. A Hamas member, Sha’ar served time in an Israeli prison from 2009 to 2011 for his involvement in a shooting attack on the IDF.
Adwan, of the al-Azariya neighborhood of Jerusalem, also belongs to Hamas and served time in prison. He has expertise in handgun use.
During questioning by the Shin Bet, it became apparent that Sha’ar began to formulate an attack plan in recent months, which was initially set to be carried out in Jerusalem. He included Daoud in the plot, who suggested changing the attack location due to difficulties in carrying out an attack in the Israeli capital. Sha’ar also planned to add another terrorist to the cell who would act as a getaway driver.
The Shin Bet recovered a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a 9-mm handgun and ammunition.
The cell members will be charged at the Judea Military Court in the coming days.
This exposure reveals “the high motivation by Hamas to carry out attacks in Jerusalem and its environs, and the danger posed by Hamas members who return to the circle of terrorism after they are released from prison,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
String of Israeli security-related successes
The Shin Bet has been successful in thwarting several massive terror attacks planned by Hamas.
In March, the security agency apprehended a Kalkilya-based Hamas terror cell that was in the process of planning a series of terror attacks in Israel.
In late February, security forces foiled a series of planned terror attacks by a Hamas cell operating out of Hebron.
In January, the Shin Bet revealed that it had captured a terror cell affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization.
Israeli security forces exposed a massive Hamas terrorist plot and the taking down of the terror ring, a security official announced late November. Some 30 terrorists were arrested, including two Jordanians and one Kuwaiti national.
The terror network intended to target Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium and its light rail system. Both attacks, if executed, would have caused mass casualties. The ring was also planning further infiltrations, kidnappings and car bombs.
Earlier in November, the Shin Bet exposed a Hamas plot to assassinate Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and to commit terror attacks against Israeli targets in Judea and Samaria.