12 November 2001

Islamic Jihad terrorist confesses to participation in attacks
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) in cooperation with the IDF and the Israel Police, in early November arrested an Islamic Jihad operative who participated in a series of terrorist attacks in Israel, in Jewish communities in the Tulkarem area and against IDF forces.

The detainee is Beha Yusef Matzarva, 21 years old ,from the Nur Sams refugee camp near Tulkarem. Matzarva is associated with Force 17, Arafat’s presidential guard. During questioning, he confessed that while serving in the Palestinian security services he was recruited into the Islamic Jihad, to a military cell that operated under the direct orders of the head of the military branch in Tulkarem, Assad Daka, who was killed by IDF forces a month ago.

Matzvara was arrested at the beginning of November in the Tulkarem area, during an attempt to plant a bomb against IDF forces. He admitted in his investigation that he carried out a line of terror attacks including:

  • Bomb planted in the Netanya market in March 2001 that was detonated by Israel Police.
  • Car bomb near the Ort school in Netanya in May 2001 that injured 8 people and caused property damage.
  • Bomb that exploded near an armored personnel vehicle in October 2001 and caused no casualties.
  • Placing a death trap for his Jewish employer who successfully escaped the ambush.
  • A long line of shooting attacks and bombing against IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians in the Tulkarem area.

    Matzvara confessed that he was also involved in the preparation of additional bombs with different cells of the Islamic Jihad and was used as a messenger of the organization between Tulkarem and Jenin. Matzvara’s investigation is still underway.

    It must be emphasized that this is not the first time that Palestinian security force members have been recruited into the Islamic Jihad and have carried out attacks in its name. The prime example of this was the terrorist attack in Hadera on October 28, 2001, in which four people were killed.
    (See Jerusalem Post report, Oct 29.)