Jerusalem, 1 December 2001

ISA arrests Hamas cell plotting to attack DM Ben-Eliezer – Dec 1, 2001
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

) The Israel Security Agency (ISA) has recently revealed the Hamas terrorist cell which perpetrated the shooting attack during which IDF reserve officer Captain Eyal Sela was killed on November 6, 2001. Members of the cell also planned to attack Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer at the entrance to the Kirya in Tel Aviv.

Three members of the cell, Dir Isstiya residents Iyad Udeh Muhammed Hoki, Jemal Haso Hader Maloh and Ali Ibrahim Kamal Issa Abu Hajla, were killed in an exchange of fire with an IDF force on November 6, 2001 while perpetrating the attack on the Samaria bypass road in which Captain Sela was killed. The remainder of the cell was arrested during the course of an initiated action by the ISA and other security forces.

Cell member Saher Abed el Aziz Muhammed Suleiman, resident of Dir Isstiya, admitted during questioning that the cell planned to gather information on the movements of Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer for the purpose of perpetrating an attack on him at his arrival at the Kirya in Tel Aviv.

The cell also planned to abduct IDF soldiers and were preparing the appropriate equipment such as tear gas and electric shockers. They also smuggled weapons, including hand grenades, from Nablus to Dir Isstiya for the purpose of carrying out shooting attacks and laying road side bombs against Israelis vehicles and IDF forces traveling on the Trans-Samaria road.