YERUSHALAYIM - Israel’s security service announced on Monday that they broke up a terrorist cell in Chevron which had plotted to carry out a suicide attack and other operations.
In a combined operation, the IDF and the Shin Bet arrested 11 members of the group last month, but a gag order was only lifted on Monday.
Some of the cell members had apparently vowed to carry out suicide bombings.
The chief suspects are Shayeb Sultan, 20, of Chevron, and his cousin Salem Saltan, 28, a Hamas operative who served prison time and was held under administrative detention as well.
The accused also admitted during interrogation that they had attempted a terror attack in early December 2014 in the Jewish community of Tel Rumeida, in the Chevron area. They planned to detonate a small bomb to lure IDF soldiers into an area where a large explosive device was to be set off. The plot was apparently cancelled due to technical problems.
In addition, they had been studying the movements of Israeli civilians in Chevron and Yerushalayim for the purpose of attacks.
Explosives and various weapons were seized that were in the possession of the suspects.
“The cell’s activities show the real threat of Hamas in Chevron, in particular from military operatives who had been detained in the past and who had returned to the cycle of terror,” the Shin Bet said Monday.
The files on the suspects will be handed over to the military prosecutor. In the meantime, the suspects remain in custody.
Meanwhile, on Monday evening, a gunman opened fire on an Israeli vehicle traveling on Route 60 near Karmei Tzur in the Gush Etzion region.
Although shots reportedly struck the vehicle, b’chasdei Shamayim, there were no injuries in the attack, an army source said.
The IDF launched a search of the area following the attack.