Jerusalem, 1 November 2001

Large-scale suicide bombing planned by the military wing of the Hamas foiled by Israeli security forces; bomber killed
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Over the past several days, there have been "hot warnings" which have led to a wide-ranging deployment of security forces. This morning (Thursday), November 1, 2001, a large-scale suicide bombing planned by the military wing of the Hamas was foiled by security forces.

This major attack that was prevented was planned and prepared by the Samaria military wing of the Hamas, which has been responsible for the majority of terrorist attacks in Israel over the past year. Security forces have recently managed to cause damage to this organization which works unceasingly to perpetrate terrorist attacks. The names of the organization’s members have been given many times to the appropriate authorities in the Palestinian Authority, who have done nothing to prevent the activities of the organization.

Yasser Atsidah, resident of the West Bank village of Tel, was the intended suicide bomber. He was originally arrested by the Palestinians in 1998 after participating in the murders of the late Elhanan Bin-Nun and Shinor Liebman from Yitzhar. Atsidah was released from prison by the PA in October 2000 in the wave of releases of terrorist extremists immediately following the outbreak of the latest round of Palestinian violence. Repeated requests to the PA to arrest him and return him to prison went unheeded.

Yasser Atsidah was killed this morning during actions by security forces. Also killed along with Atzidah was Fahmi Abu Isha, resident of Nablus, who was a central figure in the Hamas terrorist cell and was responsible for transporting the suicide bomber to the target.