13 Palestinian terrorists from the Church of the Nativity to be deported

(Communicated by Israel security sources)
May 10, 2002

1. Ibrahim Moussa Salem Abayat (alias Abu Jalif)

Abayat was born in 1973, and is a resident of the city of Bethlehem. He is head of the Fatah Tanzim terrorist organization in the city.

After the death of Atef Abayat, Ibrahim took over as the Bethlehem commander of the Tanzim. In this capacity, he was involved in dispatching and executing dozens of shooting and bombing attacks, which resulted in the death and injury of scores of Israelis. Abayat also orchestrated and participated in the shooting and mortar attacks on the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and on the Bethlehem bypass roads.

Aside from the shooting and mortar attacks, Ibrahim Abayat was also involved in the following murderous terrorist attacks:

  • 20 September 2001 – A shooting attack on an Israeli vehicle near the community of Tekoa, in which Sarit Amrani was killed.

  • 16 July 2001 – The detonation of an explosive charge on the Beit Safafa -Talpiot bridge, Jerusalem.

  • 15 January 2002 – The abduction and murder of Avi Boaz, a US citizen residing in Israel. Boaz was stopped at a Palestinian roadblock near Beit Sahour. There he was abducted by Abayat’s operatives, who took him to Bethlehem, and upon Abayat’s instructions, shot him to death.

  • 18 February 2002 – The detonation of a car bomb at the Zaim checkpoint, resulting in the death of an Israeli policeman.

  • 25 February 2002 – A shooting attack at an Israeli vehicle close to the Tekoa junction. Avraham Fisch and Aharon Gorov of Nokdim were killed in the attack, and Tamar Lipschitz, in an advanced stage of pregnancy, was wounded in the attack.

  • 2 March 2002 – A shooting attack at a vehicle on the ‘Tunnel Route’ south of Jerusalem. Devorah Friedman was killed in the attack.

  • June 14, 2002 – Involvement in the planning and execution of the terrorist murder of Israeli intelligence officer, Yehuda Edri.

In addition, incriminating evidence has been found linking him to an attempt to detonate an explosive charge, in the Jerusalem suburb of Tzur Haddassah, on 31 January 2002. The explosive charge was discovered and neutralized by Israeli police sappers.

2. Ibrahim Mohammed Salem Abayat

Abayat was born in 1961, and is a resident of Bethlehem. Abayat is an operative of the Hamas organization. He is the brother of Hussein Abayat – a senior Fatah terrorist operative who was killed in November 2000.

In 1993, the questioning of Walid Abu Nasser disclosed that Abayat had aided and abetted wanted terrorists. In addition, weapons were found in his possession, along with a bag and ID card belonging to slain IDF soldier Yaron Chen who was killed by a Hamas terrorist cell.

During questioning, Abayat admitted that he had aided wanted Hamas terrorists, that he possessed two pistols, and that he was also aware that the terrorists possessed the bag of the late Yaron Chen.

During the questioning of Hassan Salamah, a senior Hamas terrorist who executed a series of bombing attacks in February and March of 1996, it emerged that Abayat provided accommodation to both Salamah and Mouhi Adin Sharif – a senior bomb ‘engineer’ – in his Bethlehem apartment. Abayat enabled Salamah and Sharif to stay in his Bethlehem apartment for more than a week, and gave them financial assistance.

On his release from prison, Abayat immediately joined the Hamas leadership. Abayat is a member of the radical wing of Hamas in Bethlehem, and dictates the policy of the terrorist operatives.

In 2000, during the questioning of Salem Jubran, it emerged that he gave weapons training to Hamas operatives in 1996.

In 2002, Nasri Zeir, the head of a Iz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades cell in Bethlehem, revealed during questioning that Abayat acted as Zeir’s superior, financing his operations and those of his terrorist cell. Abayat also financed terrorist shootings, and planned terrorist attacks against civilians in Jerusalem, providing both economic and ideological support for these attacks.

As well as acting as a commander and a financial sponsor of the terrorist operatives, Abayat was also personally involved in the shooting attacks on the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Gilo and the IDF in Bethlehem.

3. Jihad Youssef Khalil Jaara

Jaara was born in Al-Aroub in 1971 and now resides in Bethlehem. He is an operative both in the Hamas and Fatah Tanzim. Jaara carried out a number of attacks, and was responsible for a number of terrorist killings.

Intelligence indicates that Jaara was involved in the following terrorist operations:

  • During the questioning of Fadhi Jaleiteh, it emerged that Jaara was involved in a shooting attacks in the Jericho area during the recent Palestinian campaign of violence. These attacks included the shooting near Nahal Elisha on 1 November 2000, in which IDF officer Amir Zohar was killed. In addition, he carried out a shooting attack on 8 December 2000 against a bus on the Jericho bypass road, resulting in the death of IDF soldier Tal Gordon and the wounding of an Israeli woman.

  • In April 2001, Jaara was smuggled into the Bethlehem area, and has since been carrying out shooting attacks on the neighborhood of Gilo and nearby roads.

  • On 15 January 2002, Jaara was involved in the terrorist killing of Avi Boaz, in Beit Jalla.

  • During March 2002, he planned a suicide bombing attack, and intended to dispatch the suicide bomber to Israel, to carry out the attack.

  • On 26 March 2002, Jaara dispatched a suicide bomber to carry out an attack, but his car exploded, next to the Malha shopping mall.

  • On 30 March 2002, Jaara was interviewed on the BBC, following the suicide bombing attempt. During the interview, he spoke about his support for suicide bombings, the means with which operatives obtain weapons, and he led the reporter to the bomb-maker behind the production of explosives. During the interview, Jaara was photographed while carrying out shooting attacks on the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. During the interview, he passed on his telephone number for the benefit of other operatives.

4. Abdullah Daoud Mohammed Abdullah Khader

Daoud was born in 1962. He is originally from the Balata refugee camp, in Nablus. Today, he resides in Bethlehem, and serves as the Head of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence apparatus in the city. He had previously served as the Head of the General Intelligence apparatus in Tulkarm and Kalkilya.

It has emerged that Daoud provided assistance and instructions to senior Fatah Tanzim operatives, such as Raed Karmi – a senior Tanzim operative responsible for fatal terrorist attacks in the Samaria region, Mohammed Naafa – a Tanzim terrorist operative and Abbas Alsaid – a Hamas terrorist operative.

Daoud provided courses and training to Tanzim operatives, and provided weapons and ammunition to Tanzim operatives. He encouraged them to carry out attacks, and chided them for not doing enough for the Palestinian struggle. He recruited operatives, and encouraged them to carry out attacks.

It emerged that he was personally involved in shooting attacks, together with Tanzim terrorist operatives. Daoud was personally responsible for operating a terrorist cell, for the execution of shooting attacks and the liquidation of collaborators.

Daoud was also involved along with others in the production of high explosives, for the use of Tanzim operatives. He also instructed his operatives in the preparation of bombs and high explosives.

He coordinated the transfer of weapons from one town to another, for the use of Tanzim operatives. He purchased and transferred mortar bombs and landmines. He encouraged the recruitment of terrorist operatives into the ranks of the PA General Intelligence apparatus, in order to grant them protection, following their terrorist operations.

Daoud assisted in the handling of the terrorists responsible for the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rechavam Zeevi. During the questioning of Said Hassan Khalil Rabia of Abu Dis, it emerged that Daoud had contacted him by phone to clarify the whereabouts of his terrorist accomplice Hamdi Qoran.

Recently, he orchestrated the Tanzim operatives in Bethlehem in the execution of shooting attacks against Israelis, including attacks on the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

He took part in directing the 25 February 2002 shooting attack at the Tekoa junction. In the attack, two people were killed, and one person was severely wounded.

5. Mohammed Said Atallah Salem

Salem was born in 1979, and a resident of Dehaishe refugee camp, is a wanted terrorist.

Salem is a senior operative in the Fatah Tanzim terrorist infrastructure of Ahmad Magharbi, which is responsible for lethal bombing attacks in the areas of Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

He is directly involved in the following attacks

  • 22 January 22, 2002 – The dispatch of a suicide bomber to the Talpiot neighborhood in Jerusalem. The terrorist abandoned the explosive charge and fled back to the Dehaishe refugee camp.

  • 2 March 2002 – The suicide bombing in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood of Jerusalem. As a result of the attack, 11 Israelis were killed, among them children, and dozens more were wounded.

  • 18 February 2002- The detonation of a car bomb by a suicide bomber on the Maale Adumim road, close to the Zaim checkpoint. A policeman was killed in the attack.

  • 29 March 2002 – The suicide bombing of a supermarket in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat Yovel. Two Israelis were killed in the attack, and many were wounded.

Aside from these attacks, Salem was involved in bombings, shooting and mortar attacks in the Bethlehem district.

Salem has been incriminated in the investigation of the following terrorist suspects:

  1. Ashraf Abdullah Khader Hussein Hajajra, a resident of the Dehaishe refugee camp, revealed that Salem, together with Ahmed Magharbi, the head of his terrorist cell, was responsible for smuggling the suicide bomber into the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Yisrael.

  2. Khaled Mohammed Ahmed Halawi, a resident of Dehaishe refugee camp, disclosed that he was asked by Salem to participate with him in the planting of explosive charges and shooting attacks. Halawi added that he was told by many people in the Dehaishe refugee camp that Salem had dispatched the suicide bomber to the Beit Yisrael neighborhood of Jerusalem.

  3. Walid Youssef Salem Shamrukh, a resident of Dehaishe refugee camp, disclosed that Salem approached him for pipes meant for the production of explosive charges. Shamrukh also stated that Salem carried out shooting attacks in the area, that he had tried to smuggle a suicide bomber into Israel, and guided him to targets for large-scale terrorist attacks. Salem told Shamrukh that he had already enlisted the designated suicide bomber.

  4. Ghassan Ibrahim Hamdan Ahmed, a resident of Dehaishe refugee camp, revealed that Salem had recruited him into a terrorist cell, and that he had carried out shooting and mortar attacks in the Bethlehem area.

  5. Mohammed Abdullah Rahman Ahmed Abed, a resident of A-tor, disclosed that Salem proposed that he smuggle a car bomb into Jerusalem, and that he wanted to prepare the car for the attack. Abed also revealed that Salam told him that he had enlisted a suicide bomber, and that he wanted Abed to smuggle the terrorist into Jerusalem. Abed said that Salem also stated that he was responsible for planning a suicide attack and dispatching the bomber to Jerusalem in January 2002.

6. Mohammed Fouzi Mohammed Muhaneh

Muhaneh was born in 1980. He is originally from El Aroub and now lives and operates in Bethlehem. Muhaneh is a member of the Special Forces of the General Intelligence apparatus, under the command of Tawfik Tirawi.

He participated in a course on security in the United States. During a course of the General Intelligence apparatus that took place in Gaza, between September and December 2000, he was recruited together with others by a Palestinian Police Colonel to carry out terrorist attacks. Muhaneh was shown how to prepare explosive charges, and was given instructions in the recruitment of terrorist cells for the execution of attacks.

Upon his return to Bethlehem, he recruited a terrorist cell in El Aroub together with Omer Hajara who had participated with Muhaneh in the course in the United States, and was also recruited for terrorist activity in Gaza (an explosives lab was found in Hajara’s house, and he is now in Israeli detention).

Salem also prepared explosive charges, which he intended for use against IDF vehicles and personnel, in bombing attacks to be followed by shooting ambushes. He also planned to the explosives in attacks against Jewish settlements and in Jerusalem.

Recently, Muhaneh has been involved in numerous attempts to carry out terrorist attacks in the Bethlehem area, which have included shooting and mortar attacks at military and civilian targets alike.

During the questioning of Ahab Abu Samiyeh (March 2001), it emerged that Muhaneh was a member of a Tanzim terrorist cell operating under the command of Hussein Abayat. Their operations included shooting and mortar attacks at the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem. Following the death of Hussein Abayat, Muhaneh took over the command of some of the Tanzim operatives.

During the questioning of Ala Bahis, a Tanzim operative from Hebron (March 2002) it emerged that Muhaneh was the commander of an armed Tanzim terrorist cell that carried out shooting attacks. Bahis disclosed that Muhaneh had provided members of his terrorist cell with personal training and instruction in the use of firearms, and taught them how to produce and use pipe bomb attacks.

7. Rami Kamel Eid Kamel

Kamel, a resident of Bethlehem, was born in 1980 and is an active armed Tanzim operative who has taken part in dozens of shooting attacks. He served for many months as the personal bodyguard of Atef Abu Jalif, and was one of the primary terrorists behind the shooting attacks and mortar fire directed against civilian residents of the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

When questioned, many Tanzim operatives implicated Kamel as one of the most dominant and extreme Tanzim operatives in the Bethlehem area. The following are a few examples:

  • Imad Milhem revealed to investigators in February 2001 that Kamel was a member of Atef Abayat’s terrorist cell which carried out systematic sniper and mortar attacks against Gilo as well as shooting attacks against Israeli civilian and military vehicles on the Bethlehem bypass roads. He added that Kamel took part in the shooting murder of Sgt. Max Hazan, on 2 October 2000.

  • Mahoud Soumarin is a prominent Tanzim operative and a member of Kamel’s terrorist cell which carried out shooting attacks against Gilo. In February 2002, Soumarin told investigators that Kamel was personally involved in the 11 February 2001 shooting attack against an Israeli civilian vehicle on the ‘Tunnel Route’ in which Rosh Tzurim resident Tzachi Sasson was murdered.

  • Ala’ Zadouk, when questioned in April 2002 gave details regarding a number of attacks against Gilo carried out by Kamel. He added that Kamel was armed with his own personal machinegun. During the course of these shooting and mortar attacks, a number of Gilo residents were injured and many vehicles and homes were damaged. Some of the mortar bombs fired by Kamel and his cell landed in the center of the neighborhood, including a mortar bomb which exploded near a Gilo kindergarten.

Kamel emerges as one of the most extreme operatives of the Tanzim terrorist apparatus. Kamel’s modus operandi, as revealed in the questioning of his accomplices and through evidence gathered in the field, indicates that his continued presence in the West Bank or Gaza would lead only to further threats against Israeli citizens, and may even strengthen his motivation to escalate his terrorist activities.

8. Aziz Khalil Mohammed el Abayat

Aziz Abayat, born in 1971, a former pharmacology student in al Najah University in Nablus now working Bethlehem’s Hussein Hospital, is a Hamas armed operative, who has been linked to the senior Hamas terrorist leaders in the area. He joined the terrorist apparatus in Samaria when at al Najah University, where he served as a ranking leader of the Hamas’ ‘Koutleh’ Islamic Front. Upon his return to Bethlehem, he joined the Hamas’ Iz a-Din al Qassam terrorist group and recruited members on its behalf. Aziz is very knowledgeable in the realm of explosives preparation, a skill which he often puts to

use. Being a pharmacist, he was able to purchase chemical compounds used in the manufacture of high explosives. He orchestrated and initiated the planting of bombs and charges in the Bethlehem area, as well as shooting attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli targets.

Aziz took part in the dispatch of the suicide bombers Taleb Hermes and Ahmed Abedah, who detonated themselves against an IDF roadblock which they encountered on their way to carry out a synchronized high explosive suicide attack in Jerusalem.

Further information regarding Aziz came to light in the course of the questioning of other terrorists:

  • Nassri Zeir, the leader of an Iz a-Din al Kassam terrorist cell operating in Bethlehem disclosed that Aziz was responsible for the activities of all Hamas armed operatives in the Bethlehem area.

  • Murad Rajbi, a Bethlehem ‘Koutleh’ operative, described Aziz as a senior ‘Koutleh’ leader, involved in Hamas operations emanating from al Najah University.

Aziz Abayat is a one of the Hamas’ prominent field commanders in Bethlehem, and would be the natural choice to replace the leadership of the Hamas’ Bethlehem apparatus, which was apprehended during the course of Operation Defensive Shield.

9. Mamdoukh Akhsan Mohammed Wardiyan

Wardiyan, born in 1979, is an armed operative of the Hamas. He was imprisoned until June 2001, for recruiting on behalf of the Hamas and the Koutleh Islamic Front, being a member of a Hamas terrorist cell, and carrying out street violence. When released from prison, he returned to his Hamas terrorist activities, becoming a senior armed member of the Hamas’ terrorist apparatus. According to Israeli intelligence information, Wardiyan took part in a number of shooting attacks against Israelis and planted explosive devices in the Bethlehem area.

Nasri Zeid, the leader of an Iz a-Din al Qassam terrorist cell operating in Bethlehem disclosed when questioned that Wardiyan was an armed operative in his cell, involved in shooting attacks and planting explosive charges. He added that Wardiyan was the close aide of Aziz Abayat and Bassem Hamoud, an armed operative who was injured during the standoff at the Nativity Church, and subsequently hospitalized.

The fact that Wardiyan returned to terrorist activities upon his release from prison, and his immediate integration into the senior Hamas field leadership, demonstrates that it can be assumed that he will strive to carry out terrorist activities whenever conditions permit. Due to the removal of the senior Hamas leadership as a result of Operation Defensive Shield, and his stature in the organization, Wardiyan, together with Aziz Abayat, are liable to become the next leaders of the Hamas’ terrorist apparatus in Bethlehem.

10. Khaled Mohammed Abd el Hamid Abu Najimeh

Abu Najimeh, born in 1968, is a resident of the Dehaisheh refugee camp. He was a member of both a terrorist cell of the General Security Special Forces, and a Tanzim/Fatah cell responsible for a number of fatal terrorist attacks originating in Bethlehem – among them, the attack of a woman suicide bomber against a supermarket in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat Yovel, the dispatch of two suicide bombers to attack the Maccabia Games (who detonated before reaching their objective), and other fatal attacks. The cell was led by Yehieh Daghamseh, the master bomb maker of the Bethlehem area.

In addition to the aforementioned attacks, Abu Najimeh was also responsible for the planting of explosive charges in the Bethlehem area, intended for use against IDF forces.

11. Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed al Hemamreh

Ahmed Hemamreh, born in 1971, is a Tanzim terrorist operative.

Rassem Hemamreh, a terrorist who transported a suicide bomber and his accomplice to Jerusalem (the two were killed when their bomb detonated at an Israeli roadblock in Jerusalem’s Malha neighborhood on 26 March 2002), revealed information regarding Ahmed Hemamreh’s terrorist activities to Israeli investigators:

  • It was disclosed that Ahmed was the operative who recruited Rassem to the armed units of the Tanzim, and was responsible for training Rassem and other recruits in the use of weapons.

  • In addition, Ahmed was described as having recruited the suicide bomber and obtaining for him explosive devices.

  • It was also learned that Ahmed was responsible for preparing and dispatching the suicide bomber transported by Rassem to Jerusalem. On the morning of the planned attack, Ahmed transferred the armed bomber to Rassem, for infiltration into Jerusalem.

  • The information gained from questioning indicates that Ahmed planned to bomb a large Jerusalem shopping center during the course of the Passover holiday. The explosion was planned for the morning hours, when the mall was to have been filled with children on vacation.

Ahmed has been shown to be a dominant and fiercely nationalistic figure, capable of recruiting and training others for terrorist operations, and possessing an ability to operate independently.

12. Khalil Mohammed Abdullah Nawareh

Nawareh, born in 1978, resident of Bethlehem, is a Tanzim terrorist operative. He is an aide to Ibrahim Abayat, the head of the Tanzim in Bethlehem, and has taken part in a number of terrorist attacks.

It was learned during the questioning of Mahmoud Abayat, an armed Tanzim operative in Bethlehem, that Khalil carried out shooting attacks against Israeli vehicles on the ‘Tunnel Route’. In one such attack, on 11 February 2001, an Israeli civilian, Tzachi Sasson, was murdered.

13. Annan Mohammed Hamis Tanjeh

Tanjeh, born 1978, is a resident of the Inatrah neighborhood in Bethlehem. He is a known Tanzim operative, and member of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades. An armed terrorist, Tanjeh took part in shooting attacks together with Yehieh Daghamseh, and in extensive terrorist operations against Israelis, including the transfer of weapons to Nidal Zadouk and the cell led by Yehieh Daghamseh.

Information regarding Tanja came to light in the questioning of Majdi Mahmoud Ali Zadouk, a Tanzim operative, who described Tanja as a member of the al Aksa Brigades and as having been responsible for numerous shooting attacks in Bethlehem and toward Gilo.

It was also learned that Tanja received terrorist directives from Ibrahim Abayat and Riyadh al Amour, ranking Tanzim commanders in Bethlehem who are responsible for the murder of Israeli citizens. It was also revealed that Tanja carried out shooting attacks against the Tunnel Route, the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, and IDF forces around Bethlehem.