Cleared for release: Throughout the month of December, the Internal Security Agency (ISA), IDF (Zahal), and Israeli Police uncovered a Hamas terror cell operating from Jerusalem and Hebron. Members of the cell plotted to kidnap and murder an Israeli citizen, and hold the body for ransom.

The terror cell was made up of six terrorists, three from Hebron and three from Jerusalem. Ziad Abu Haduan (20), a Jerusalem resident, is a senior operative in the terror cell. Haduan was previously convicted for violent activities on the Temple Mount. Following his release, Haduan continued his activity with the terror cell.

The head of the cell is Maher Kawasme (36), a Hebron resident. He was previously convicted for plotting a terror attack on behalf of Hamas.

Operatives admitted to meeting in Hebron in order to plot terror attacks. Kawasme taught the operatives from Jerusalem how to make explosive devices. The same operatives also requested weapons to carry out a shooting attack in Jerusalem. Their plan was to kidnap and murder an Israeli civilian.

During their investigation, the operatives admitted to examining caves in the Hebron area in order to hide the kidnapped body. Amar Rajbi (22), a resident of Jerusalem, was assigned to drive the vehicle in the attack due to his fluent Hebrew. Following the abduction, the kidnappers planned to murder their victim and bury the body in a predetermined location. They planned to use the kidnapping as a bargaining chip in negotiations for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

After the arrest of the Jerusalem-based operatives, the cell’s remaining members bought chemical materials in an attempt to manufacture explosives and carry out a terror attack.

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