The Jerusalem District Attorney on Thursday filed in District Court an indictment against five young residents of East Jerusalem, accused of participating in a conspiracy to commit kidnapping and shooting attacks against Jewish civilians in the city. According to the indictment, in February the group leader, Nur Hamdan, decided to launch a shooting attack on Jews coming to pray on the Temple Mount and against the police in East Jerusalem.
The indictment says that Hamdan recruited a gang of four young residents of Ras al-Amud and of a-Tur. To reach the recruits, Hamdan was in touch with the Hamas military wing, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigade, and Fatah’s military arm, The Al-Aqsa martyrs Brigade, and with terrorists in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Those organizations gave their support to the new gang with training and weapons to carry out the plan.
During the months of February and March, the gang members, most of them in their 20s, held meetings in which they drew plans to shoot Jewish worshipers on the Temple Mount and police forces stationed in Jerusalem. Also, the members planned to kidnap a Jew in order to take his gun and kill him, and then commit more criminal offenses.
According to the indictment, early last month two defendants, Imad Shaar and Jalal Qutub, planned to grab a Jews and kill him in order to obtain his weapon. They decided to ride between pickup stands for hitchhikers, and welcome into their vehicle an armed Jewish civilian (many Israeli civilians who live east of the green line carry handguns), grab his weapon and then murder him.
The two men, along with defendant Amjad Razem, drove two vehicles towards the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, with one of them carrying a weapon. They picked up a Jewish civilian who was at a bus stop, looking to reach the Adam settlement. But once it became clear that their passenger did not carry a weapon, the defendants dropped him at the entrance to his destination.
So, really, the only thing the terrorist gang actually managed to execute is giving a lift to a Jew.
During his interrogation by the General Security Service, the head of the cell confessed to planning to carry out military operations on the Temple Mount, “to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The plan was inspired by videos bio he had watched on You Tube about attacks carried out in Jerusalem, especially the attack against the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in 2008.
According to the indictment, Hamdan contacted the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Gaza and Shchem, and asked for assistance to carry out a shooting attack against security forces on the Temple Mount. He later recruited his friends, Omar Wazwaz, Shaer and Qutub, who live in aTur, for the attack.
Members of the cell carried out several gun target practices near the Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, and were planning to go to Shchem to meet with a local Tanzim terrorist, to ask him for assistance with weapons and money for their activities.
The indictment also states that two guns, magazines and a pipe bomb were seized from the home of another defendant, Firas Dajani, a resident of aTur.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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