(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
During the night, security forces arrested 64 members of the Hamas terror organization in the West Bank, apprehending senior leaders in Jerusalem and the West Bank, including ministers in the Hamas government, Hamas lawmakers and other senior members of the organization actively involved in its terror infrastructure.
Hamas is a terror organization which regularly plans and carries out attacks against Israel, including attacks in the past few weeks.
Those arrested have been taken for questioning and will soon be brought before a judge in order to extend their arrest. With the conclusion of their questioning, and in accordance with the evidence gathered against them, indictments will be filed against those who are deemed sufficiently suspect of criminal activity.
Security forces will operate against all terror organizations and their members. Those arrested during the night on the grounds of their suspected involvement in terror are not immune, despite their seniority.
Of those arrested, several of the senior Hamas members are:
- Mahmad Barghouti, 48, resident of Kobar, north of Ramallah. Serves as the Minister of Labor in the Hamas government, and is one of the founders of the organization’s infrastructure in Ramallah. Barghouti was arrested following new ISA information tying him to Hamas’ military infrastructure in Ramallah and to Ibrahim Hamed who, until his recent arrest, was considered to be the top wanted Hamas terrorist in the West Bank.
- Abed Al Jabar Fuq’ha, 40, a member of the Palestinian legislative council. Fuq’ha has a long history in the Hamas military infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, and assisted the Awdalla brothers, Muhi A-din Sharif and Hassan Salameh in carrying out the suicide bombings of ’96. Recent information shows that in the past few years Fuq’ha too was in contact with Ibrahim Hamed, and served as his assistant.
- Na’if Rajub, 50, Serves as the Minister of Religious Affairs in the Hamas government and is considered to be the senior member of the organization in the villages outside Hebron. He was arrested several times in the past for his activity in the organization, and is known as one of the organizations’ most extreme members. He is also known for his inciting speeches against Israel in which he called for the continuation of terror attacks against Israelis.
- Khaled Abu Arfa, 55, resident of Jerusalem. Serves as the Minister for Jerusalem Affairs in the Hamas government and is the senior member of Hamas in the city. He was arrested previously on several occasions for his involvement in the organization’s activities.
- Adnan Asfur, 44, resident of Nablus. Head of Hamas in the city, he is known as one of the main agenda setters for Hamas in the West Bank. Asfur was appointed by Khaled Mashal to be the Spokesperson of Hamas in Nablus, and presented Hamas’ position in different rallies. He was appointed as leader of the Hamas movement at Al Najah University in Nablus, and recruited new members for Hamas in Nablus. Asfur was arrested several times in the past and resumed his activities after every release. He was also in contact with Hamas funding sources from abroad.