(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

Now released for publication: In a joint IDF and ISA arrest operation overnight at the Bal’a village near Tulkarm, Omar Jabar, head of the Hamas terror organization in Tulkarm area, was arrested. Jabar has been sought since 2002 for his direct responsibility in carrying out the suicide attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya on Passover, March 27, 2002, in which 30 Israeli civilians were killed and 143 were injured.

Jabar recruited the contact that dispatched the suicide bomber, introducing him to the head of the Hamas in Tulkarm at the time, Abed Sayad. Sayad admitted in his investigation that the connection with Jabar had already begun in 1994, when the two were imprisoned together.

Since 2002, Jabar was directly involved in recruiting militants to Hamas secrete terror cells and in the past year was involved in their combat training.  

In recent years, while hiding in the Tulkarm area villages, Jabar used his own family members to transfer encrypted messages to Hamas terror operatives, in order to lead the Hamas terror organization in Tulkarm, finance his and other militants’ terrorist activity and purchase weapons.

Following clashes between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip in January 2007, Jabar worked to establish and finance a Hamas operational cell in Tulkarm. He purchased weapons and recruited terror operatives, intended for the establishment of a Hamas cell similar to operational cells active in Gaza.