Israel says it thwarted a massive Hamas bomb attack in Jerusalem

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Hamas cell in Hebron was planning a bomb attack in Jerusalem but was thwarted, the Israel Security Agency said.

The cell,  operating under the direction of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip, had been ordered to carry out attacks against both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“The operatives in the West Bank were instructed to form cells in order to carry out kidnappings, shootings and stabbings, purchase weaponry, and find and recruit additional operatives for terrorist activities,” the agency, also known as the Shin Bet, said in a statement Tuesday.

The agency arrested a member of the cell, a college student at the Polytechnic College in Hebron, in June, which led to the arrest of other members, including at least one other college student. A 6.6-pound bomb filled with metal fragment that was to be used in a bomb attack also was discovered. The metal fragments would have caused more serious injury to victims.

The investigation and arrest of the cell was a joint operation with the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police.