The terrorists disguised themselves as protesters during a demonstration against the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, organized by the Hamas terrorist organization near the Erez crossing.

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

Now released for publication: In a joint IDF and ISA activity on February 25, 2008, the forces arrested Muhamad Kassem, a Hamas terror operative, during a planned attack on IDF soldiers. The terrorists disguised themselves as protesters during a demonstration against the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, organized by the Hamas terrorist organization near the Erez crossing.

Kassem, 18, a resident of Beit Lahiya, admitted during his investigation that he was involved in a series of attempts to attack IDF soldiers, including planting and activating explosive devices, ambushing IDF patrols, scouting for intelligence and participating in the planning of a suicide bombing attack.

In September 2007, Kassem was recruited to the Hamas suicide bombers unit and participated in a training course along with 40 additional Hamas terror operatives. As a part of his training, Kassem was supposed to receive an explosive belt weighing 20kg intended for a suicide bombing attack. Kassem was arrested before he received the belt.

During his investigation, Kassem said he was involved, along with other Hamas terror-operatives, in planting and activating explosive devices against IDF tanks. According to their plan, after activating the explosives the terrorists were supposed to open fire at the soldiers.

In one these incidents, Kassem was involved in an attempt to plant an explosive device weighing 25kg. He and another Hamas terror-operative conducted surveillance on IDF forces in order to activate it against IDF soldiers. Due to technical difficulties the explosive device did not go off.