Israeli authorities cleared for publication on Monday the news that members of a terrorist cell in Judea and Samaria who worked to advance attacks on behalf of a Gaza-based Hamas terrorist were arrested in November 2017 during a joint Israel Security Agency (ISA/Shin Bet), Israel Police and IDF operation.
During the investigation it was learned that Abdallah Arar, a Hamas terrorist who was involved in the abduction of the late Sasson Nuriel, z’l, was behind the cell. Arar was expelled to Gaza in the framework of the Shalit deal and has since engaged in terrorist activity. He is suspected of having instructed Ala Salim, a resident of Jaba in the Binyamin area, to establish a cell and purchase an M-16 assault rifle in order to perpetrate an attack forthwith and – to this end – transferred funds to him.
Ala Salim contacted fellow Jaba resident Rian Touam and requested his assistance in purchasing an M-16 and gave him several thousand shekels. He also contacted Shehadeh Touam and sought his assistance in recruiting additional cell members. Shehadeh Touam, in turn, contacted Mahmoud Abu Arkov, a young Hamas activist from A-Ram and recruited him to the cell.
The investigation is being conducted in coordination with the IDF military prosecutor who is evaluating the findings prior to the submission of indictments against the suspects.
An ISA official noted, “The Hamas command in Gaza has been increasingly motivated of late to advance attacks via Hamas members in Judea and Samaria.
“The security forces will continue to take determined action to foil Hamas’s efforts to carry out attacks in Israel and wish to make it clear that Hamas in the Gaza Strip will be held responsible for any attack carried out at its behest.”