During November, the Shin Bet arrested 17 members of a Hamas terror cell in Yehudah and Shomron that had planned to carry out attacks; this news was released for publication Monday. B’siyatta d’Shmaya, the Shin Bet, along with the IDF and Israel Police, prevented the group from executing their plans.
The investigation by security officials determined that the head of the gang was Abdullah Arar, a Hamas terrorist who was involved in the kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Sasson Nuriel, Hy”d, in 2005; his remains were found in a garbage pile in Ramallah. Arar was released from prison as part of the deal to free kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. He was banished to Gaza, but kept up his contacts in Yehudah and Shomron, where he organized the gang via Ala’a Salim, a resident of the village of Geva in the Binyamin region.
Salim organized the group and attempted to acquire weapons, including an M16 rifle, which would be used to carry out shooting or kidnapping attacks against IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians. In a statement, the Shin Bet said: “In recent months we have seen an increase in the motivation of terrorists to carry out attacks. Many of these are directed by Hamas terrorists acting in Gaza to carry out terror attacks in Yehudah and Shomron. Security forces will continue to act with determination to prevent these attacks, and we make it clear to Hamas in Gaza that it will be held responsible for any attacks it organizes in Yehudah and Shomron.”