(Communicated by Israeli security sources)
On January 18, 2005, in a joint IDF and ISA action, the core members of the Hamas terrorist network in Nablus were arrested. These senior members were preparing to perpetrate imminent large-scale bomb attacks, as well as to manufacture rockets and shells. The senior terrorists in question were arrested before they were able to perpetrate out the attacks they were preparing. The IDF and ISA action was part of a continued intelligence campaign that began a number of months prior to the arrests.
As a result of the questioning of the Hamas terrorists arrested during the activity, a Hamas explosives manufacturing laboratory was uncovered today, January 23, 2005. Roughly 25 kilograms of improvised explosive material, in advanced stages of development, were found in the laboratory, together with 120 liters of substances used to manufacture explosive material, a detonating device for explosive belts, and other electrical components. In a second lab uncovered, instruction manuals for the manufacturing of high-end explosive devices, including bombs capable of exploding armored vehicles, were found together with improvised explosives and bullets.
In the last months the Hamas terrorist network in Nablus went to great lengths to prepare explosive vehicles, in coordination with Tanzim operatives in Nablus, in order to carry out large-scale coordinated terror attacks. In the month of October 2004, the Hamas network carried out an explosive vehicle attack against an IDF vehicle in the city of Nablus. The attack did not result in casualties. The terrorist network also attempted to carry out a double suicide bombing in the region of Rosh Haayin, in central Israel, in July 2004. The double suicide bombing was thwarted after the suicide bombers had already been dispatched.
It should be emphasized that the Hamas network in Nablus carried out some of the most severe suicide bombings both in the heart of Israel and in the northern West Bank. Among these attacks were the two terror attacks in the community of Emanuel, in December 2001 and July 2002, in which tens of Israeli civilians were murdered, a suicide bombing at the Patt junction in Jerusalem, June 18, 2002, in which 20 Israeli civilians were murdered, suicide attacks in the community of Ariel in October 2002, and in August 2003, and many other attacks.
Key Hamas members arrested during the activity:
Hamed Salim Hamed Amudi
Nablus resident, 30 years old. Amudi was jailed in Israel between 1993 and 1994 for being a Hamas terrorist and for his participation in riots. He continued participating in Hamas terror activity after being released from prison. He took part in a shooting attack against the community of Alon Moreh on August 8, 1997, as a member of the Hamas terrorist network. No injuries were reported in this attack. His partner to this shooting attack was Halil Sharif, who later took part in the triple suicide bombing in the Jerusalem pedestrian mall in 1997. Amudi worked with senior Hamas terrorists who directed the activity of the Hamas terrorist network in Nablus (for example Mahand Taher and Mohamad Hanbali). Amudi was in charge of purchasing and coordinating between various Hamas terrorists, prior to his arrest.
Samar Mahmud Tahar Yaamoni
Nablus resident, 36 years old. Yaamoni, a Hamas terrorist, was jailed between 1998 and 1999, after collaborating with wanted Hamas terrorists who were involved in planning terror attacks. In the recent period prior to his arrest, Yaamoni served as the deputy of the head of the Hamas network in Nablus. Following the death of the former head of the Hamas network in Nablus, Mohamad Hanabli, Yaamoni was responsible for finding new recruits to the network. He also participated in activity at the explosives and weapons manufacturing laboratory.
Ahab Zaher Ali Bira
Nablus resident, 30 years old. Was arrested in 1994 and admitted to being a Hamas terrorist and to taking part in riots. He was later exposed as a key logistical collaborator of wanted members of the Hamas network, providing them with apartments to hide in, food, clothes and weapons. Bira was also responsible for recruiting terrorists. Ihab Bira served as the right hand man of Hammed Amodi and together they carried out terror activity. Bira had vast knowledge regarding the manufacturing of explosive devices and belts.
Mahmad a Rahman Hamed Isa Zaban
Nablus resident, 25 years old. Brother of Amar Zaban who was jailed for taking part in terror attacks. Mahmad was a collaborator of the Hamas network ever since his brother was active as a terrorist. Muhammad was an aid of Mahend Taher, who served as the head of the Hamas network in Nablus until his death, and of Hamis Abu Alam, who was in charge of the explosives and weapons manufacturing laboratory of the Hamas network in Nablus until his death. Mahmad was recently exposed as the deputy of Hashem Tahruri, one of the Hamas network’s chief explosives and weapons engineers and explosive device manufacturers. Mahmad coordinated between Hamas and Taznim terrorists in Nablus who planned to carry out coordinated terror activity.
Kamal Bahagat Rtrot
Nablus resident, 31 years old. Arrested at the beginning of the 90’s for taking part in riots. Was one of the Hamas network’s key terrorists responsible for the establishing of explosives and weapons manufacturing laboratories.
Hashem a Rahman Mahmud Tahrori
Nablus resident, 30 years old. A Hamas terrorist, one of the veteran explosives specialists of the Hamas network in Nablus. In this framework he produced advanced explosives and explosive devices and also trained Tanzim operatives in Nablus in the production of explosives and explosive devices.
Bashir a Rahman Hafez Abu Gish
Resident of Beit Djan village in the Nablus region, 27 years old. Was under administrative arrest during 2003 for collaborating with Amin Fad, one of the network’s senior Hamas terrorists, who died when an explosive device he was manufacturing accidentally detonated. The device was intended to be used for the purpose of a suicide bombing in the heart of Israel. Until his arrest Bashir served as an aid to Ahab Bira, one of the senior Hamas terrorists of the Hamas network in Nablus.
Atzam Mostafa Mahamad Uda
Resident of Tel village in the Nablus region, 24 years old. First arrested on 2002, for his activity, in collaboration with Natser Adin Atzida, as a Hamas terrorist. Nasser Atzida was directly responsible for carrying out two large scale explosive device attacks against buses in the community of Emanuel, that resulted in the murder of tens of Israeli civilians. Upon his release Uda continued Hamas terror activity and was the aid of Ahab Bira, a senior Hamas terrorist in the Nablus network, until his arrest.