Israel says it foiled Hamas terror cell’s bombing plot planned for Election Day

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Hamas terrorist cell that planned to carry out a suicide car bombing on or near the date of Israel’s national elections was arrested.

The Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, announced on Sunday that in cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces it uncovered the terrorist cell recruited by senior Hamas operatives from Gaza to carry out the attack.

Hamas recruited a 23-year-old resident of Al-Zaim, a Palestinian village near Jerusalem, in Gaza via the internet and he agreed to act as the suicide bomber, the Israel Security Agency said in a statement. The man, Yehiye Abu Dia, was arrested on March 31, foiling the plot.

Abu Dia was instructed to purchase a car and rent a storage facility in order to prepare the car bomb, as well as to monitor the best site for the attack in the area of the large West Bank settlement of  Maale Adumim, where there would be a high concentration of buses, civilians and soldiers.

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As part of preparations for the attack, Abu Dia said he was instructed to photograph a will on behalf of the Hamas military wing. He planned to film himself reading his will, with a Hamas military wing ribbon tied around his head, prior to leaving for the attack and purchased a tripod for this purpose.

Abu Dia is expected to be indicted in the coming days.