Photo Credit: Flash 90
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque. (Archive)

Cleared for publication: The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has foiled a new attempt by Hamas to rebuild its terror network — and the start of a shadow government — in Judea and Samaria.

In a joint sting operation with the IDF and Israel Police, the Shin Bet uncovered a mammoth Hamas terror cell operating in the Samaria city of Shechem and surroundings. The cell was involved in laying the groundwork for the launch of a parallel shadow government poised to eventually supplant that of the Palestinian Authority in the capital, Ramallah, as well as ignite a spate of new terror attacks, according to security sources.

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Approximately 40 operatives were arrested in the sting, including senior Hamas members who have been previously incarcerated. Interrogations of those who were detailed revealed that Hamas was well on the way to renewing its presence in Judea and Samaria.

The terror organization had already begun creating a central headquarters in Shechem (Nablus). The group has expanded its infrastructure and appointed regional chief, delegating responsibilities in the following areas:

  • education
  • finance
  • communications
  • intelligence
  • recruitment for political and financial support
  • charity
  • transfer of financial assistance to Hamas prisoners and their families, and
  • laying the groundwork for military action.

Shechem native Husam Badran, 49, is the mastermind behind the administrative infrastructure, according to security sources. Badran, who currently resides in Qatar, is directly responsible for organizing and maintaining contact with the command membership. He was also apparently involved in delegating various roles, and for the successful transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the command center as well.

These activities were concealed by the use of couriers and post office boxes. Funds were transferred in part by the purchase of 22-24 karat gold jewelry from Jordan, which was then smuggled into Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile, Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen warned the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday (Tuesday) that Hamas is also preparing to launch another war against Israel.

Since 2012, there has been a 50 percent increase annually in the number of terror attacks perpetrated against Israel each year by the group, going from 683 in 2012 to 1,834 last year.

Perhaps Hamas is planning to move all of its people out of Gaza and into Judea and Samaria; there has been little or no effort into reconstructing homes and infrastructure for its people there.

Instead, Hamas has been intent upon rebuilding its terror infrastructure with whatever building materials it receives. The organization has rebuilt its terror attack tunnels leading into Israel and continues to develop its domestically produced missiles. It has increased its drills on land, sea and air and periodically test launches new rockets to check the trajectories and ranges they produce.

Nevertheless, according to the Shin Bet chief, Hamas is not quite yet ready for a new war with the Jewish State, although it can carry on a serious conflict if one is ignited. The terror group is fully equipped, funded and trained by its Iranian sponsors.

Cohen told lawmakers that Palestinian Authority Arabs in Judea and Samaria, however, are more focused on their financial survival this year and thus far less likely to support a war with Israel.

Ironically, Cohen noted that although Israel this year allowed the PA to conduct the Ramadan security checks to the Temple Mount for Arabs from Gaza, Judea and Samaria, the PA government chose not to implement the concessions.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

12 COMMENTS

  1. We are out to reiterate, time and again: When the Arabs, including the Arabs of Gaza, put their weapons down, peace will reign. When the Jews, including the Jews of the State of Israel, put their weapons down, the State of Israel will be a thing of the past and the six million Jews in our homeland will follow the footsteps of the hundreds of thousands of Arabs slaughtered by their fellow Arabs in Syria and elsewhere.

  2. At times like this I wonder…

    OK, I can understand that the Israeli governments so far didn't deport all Muslim Arabs from the Gaza and West Bank Savage Gardens. That would cause a world-wide boycott of Israel, perhaps some of the great powers would even attack Her.
    So, I understand them for letting Hamas exist; it is good to divide the Muslim Arabs on Israeli land.

    But at this time, when Ali Baba in Ramallah wants to create a Molestine on his own, I think it would be more reasonable to let Hamas murder him together with his best buddies and take over the West Bank Savage Garden, too.
    In that case Israel would have no "peace partner" and at least for a while all this bunkum about "two States living side by side in peace" would diminish.
    And it would be very easy to let another Muslim terror group arise later to be the rival of Hamas.

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