* Bomber changed his mind and returned to Hebron.

* Hamas cell in Abu-Dis and Hebron behind attack arrested. 

(Communicated by Israeli security sources)

Hamas terrorists in Hebron, Jerusalem and surrounding villages, arrested by ISA, IDF and Israeli Police over the last week, admitted to smuggling a suicide bomber into Jerusalem on Sunday, July 11, 2004. The suicide bomber intended to carry out a bombing attack at a cafe on Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem. The suicide bomber changed his mind at the last moment and returned home without carrying out the attack.

The main operatives who were arrested:

Ala Mohammed Fiad Kafishe – A Hamas terrorist, born 1973, resident of Hebron, was the planner of the suicide attack. Kafishe was detained in Israel several times and was released in August 2003.

Ibrahim Mohammad Ahmed Halbiye – A Hamas terrorist, born 1976, resident of Abu-Dis, was the leader of the terrorist cell that planned and prepared the attack. Halbiye was detained in Israel in the past.

Wasim Salim Mustafa Jelad – A Hamas terrorist, born 1977, resident of Isawiye, holds an Israeli ID, was responsible for choosing the location of the bombing. Jelad was detained in Israel in the past.

Malik Salem Matzbah Nasser A-Din – A senior Hamas terrorist, born 1963, resident of Hebron, was the suicide bomber who intended to carry out the attack.

The sequence of events:

The Hamas infrastructure in Hebron carried out several suicide bombing attacks in Jerusalem last year, among them the suicide bombing in a bus opposite the ‘Klal’ Bldg. on Jaffa Road (June 2003) and on the Number 2 bus (Aug 2003).

In the framework of a continuing effort by the IDF and ISA, most of the infrastructure’s senior operatives were killed or arrested by the end of 2003.

Imad Kawasme, the current leader of the cell, continues to try to carry out suicide bombing attacks in Jerusalem.

Approximately a month ago Imad Kawasme asked Allah Kafishe to choose operatives from Jerusalem with whom he could carry out the terrorist attack. Kafishe requested Ibrahim Halbiye, a Hamas terrorist from Abu-Dis, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, who was detained in Israel along with Kafishe and Imad Kawasme. Halbiye agreed to assist in carrying out the attack.

Two weeks ago, Halbiye traveled to Hebron where he met Kafishe and Imad Kawasme. The men gave Halbiye instructions and money to acquire a car bearing Israeli license plates with which he could carry out the terror attack.

In addition, Ibrahim Halibye enlisted the aid of his friend Wasim Jelad, a Hamas terrorist and resident of Isawiye, a village in the Jerusalem area, who possessed Israeli identification papers. Jelad was given the task of identifying a suitable target within Jerusalem for the attack, and of transporting the terrorist to the site. Jelad and Halibye enlisted the aid of three additional Hamas terrorists, one of whom also possessed Israeli identification papers, who assisted in gathering intelligence, conducting surveillance and transporting the terrorist to the site of the attack.

While searching for a way to transport the suicide bomber from Abu-Dis to Jerusalem, the terrorists realized that they could exploit the unfinished areas of the security fence in order to smuggle the suicide bomber into Jerusalem.

The terrorists identified "Kafit," a cafe on Emek Refaim Street, a lively area in central Jerusalem, as a suitable target for a bombing. The terrorist noticed that a security guard was stationed at the entrance of the cafe, and requested that the terror cell in Hebron arm the suicide bomber with a pistol in order to eliminate the guard before entering the cafe.

On the morning of Sunday, July 11, 2004, Allah Kafishe traveled from Hebron to Abu-Dis armed with an explosive belt and pistol. The explosive belt was hidden in a carton of biscuits belonging to Kafishe’s family biscuit factory and transported in one of the company’s moving vehicles along with the regular shipment of biscuits. Several hours later, during the afternoon, Malik Nasser A-Din, the suicide bomber, was transported from Hebron to Abu Dis. He was hidden in an apartment in the village where he was fitted with the explosive belt and briefed regarding the target of the attack.

That evening, Ibrahim Halbiye guided the suicide bomber to an opening in the security fence with the assistance of other cell members who acted as lookouts and cover for the vehicle. The suicide bomber was met on the other side of the security fence by Wasim Jelad, who transported him to the center of Jerusalem, via the neighborhood of Wadi Joz in east Jerusalem.

Wasim Jelad and the suicide bomber traveled to Emek Refaim Street where Jelad indicated the target of the attack, Cafe Kafit. Jelad stopped the car a short distance away from the cafe near the Oranim junction and dispatched the suicide bomber to carry out the attack. Wasim then continued on to his home in Isawiye.

The suicide bomber, Malik Nasser A-Din, regretted his decision at the last moment and decided not to carry out the suicide attack. He continued to conceal the explosive belt and pistol and returned independently to Abu-Dis, and then to Hebron.

The following morning, on July 12, 2004, members of the terrorist cell realized that the suicide bombing had not been carried out. They arranged a meeting with Imad Kawasme in Hebron for the purpose of    re-planning the terror attack. During the night of July 13, 2004, all the members of the terrorist cell were arrested in their homes in Hebron and Jerusalem and were taken for questioning by security forces. During the course of the investigation, the terrorists related the name of the intended suicide bomber, Malik Nasser A-Din. The investigation of the various members of the terrorist cell is still underway.

On Thursday, July 15, 2004, A-Din was arrested by security forces while hiding in the home of relatives in Hebron. During the afternoon hours, IDF and Border Police forces surrounded the house. A-Din, who was armed with a pistol, opened fire at the forces, and was killed in the ensuing exchange of fire.