Shin Bet arrests Hamas cell in Hebron planning attacks on Israel

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Shin Bet Israel Security Agency arrested 11 members of a Hamas cell in Hebron that planned terrorist attacks on Israel including suicide bombings.

The arrests, in a joint operation with the Israel Defense Forces, took place last month, the Shin Bet announced on Monday.

The suspects during questioning admitted that they had planned attacks against Israeli civilians in both Jerusalem and Hebron, including carrying out suicide bomb attacks.  A terror attack on the Tel Rumeida settlement near Hebron was attempted in early December, which could have led to the death of many Israeli soldiers.

The suspects also turned over explosives and two weapons they planned to use in the attacks, according to the Shin Bet.

“The cell’s activities show the real threat of Hamas in Hebron, 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 in a statement released on Monday.

The Shin Bet has requested that the men be held until their trials in military court.