The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, revealed last week that it had broken up a Hamas terror cell, described as differing from past Hamas plots in “both scope and potential risk,” which “cynically” exploited Gazans who were allowed to leave to seek medical treatment in Israel.
At the center of the cell was 25-year-old Awis Rajoub, from the town of Dura which is near Hebron, who was recruited by a handler in Gaza. Rajoub was arrested on September 23, after he had begun carrying out the plans he had been assigned and had enlisted family members to assist in buying supplies to carry out the attacks.
The goal of the terror plot, according to the Shin Bet, was to “bring about a security escalation in both the Gaza Strip” and the West Bank.
Rajoub had been recruited in Gaza by a member of Hamas’s so-called military wing based in Gaza and instructed to retrieve a cellphone that had been located in a medical warehouse. He was later ordered to meet with a Hamas representative from Bethlehem, who would give him both a password and further instructions on the use of the phone. Rajoub was informed that in a few days a woman would arrive from the Gaza Strip, who was in Israel for medical treatment, with further instructions.
He met the woman, identified as Naama Mikdad, a mother of nine children, who was accompanying her sister into Israel for cancer treatments. The woman gave Rajoub a pair of pants with further instructions written on a piece of cloth that had been sewn into the fabric.
Rajoub’s handlers, according to the Shin Bet, gave him “instructions on how to prepare IEDs from video clips” and arranged “video calls with the infrastructure’s explosives expert.”
The suspect appreciated that the Hamas leadership, who had recruited him, wanted him to carry out attacks “as soon as possible” in the West Bank, and to prepare an attack against a “significant” target inside the Green Line, such as “large building, mall, restaurant, hotel, train or bus.”
Two accomplices, Yazan and Sayyaf Asafra, were recruited by Rajoub to scout out possible targets, and prepare the explosives for the IED. Rajoub, following instructions from his handlers, worked on devising a triggering mechanism. Rajoub was under orders to complete the manufacture of the explosive device by the end of September in anticipation of an attack in early October. His arrest forestalled the plans.
The sisters also brought a suitcase with a secret message for Fouad Dar Khalil, recruiting him to plan terror attacks inside Israel and to recruit others to assist him.
Despite repeated attempts by Hamas to recruit and train terrorists in the use of explosive devices, such sophisticated explosives “have yet to be used” in the West Bank.
[Photo: infolivetvenglish / YouTube ]