Netanyahu: Foiled Hamas terror cell proves Israel must control Samaria security

Following the revelation on Sunday that Israeli security forces recently busted a major Samaria-based Hamas terror cell, the prime minister reiterated Israel’s need to control security west of the Jordan River.

By: World Israel News Staff

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, commented on a significant victory for Israeli security forces, which thwarted a sophisticated, Hamas-run terror cell operating in the Samaria region.

“The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), 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,” explained Netanyhau.

“This is why we will continue to maintain security control of all areas west of the Jordan River,” he concluded.

The prime minister was referring to a huge, very active Hamas operation discovered in recent months, working out of the Shechem (Nablus) area, which has been a breeding ground for deadly terror cells over the years.

In late April 2018, over 20 cell members were detained, with most of them belonging to Hamas. Some of the detainees had extensive experience in terrorist operations, including the production of improvised and conventional explosives.

Shin Bet investigations revealed that the suspects intended to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel, including a Tel Aviv bomb attack and a Jerusalem suicide attack, in addition to other attacks in Samaria.

By arresting cell members, these attacks were thwarted, some in the last minute.

In addition to arresting terror cell members, security forces were also able to seize explosives, including one that weighed 10 kilograms and could be detonated by mobile phone. Another 15 kilograms of explosive material, including raw materials and weapons, as well as bomb-making instructions, were seized.

Two Hamas members from Nablus, 35-year-old Mutassem Nuhammad Salem and 33-year-old Fares Kamil Zavidi, oversaw terror infrastructure, recruited members, planned attacks, and manufactured explosives.

According to a senior Shin Bet officer, “This case again shows the desire and efforts that Hamas is investing in building terrorist infrastructure 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. Severe attacks and loss of life have been prevented.”

The officer concluded, “We, along with our partners in the IDF and Israel Police, will continue to take determined action to thwart Hamas’s murderous intentions. Cell members will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”