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8 Hamas operatives planning attacks nabbed

  |   April 7, 2011 at 8:02 AM
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JERUSALEM, April 7 (UPI) -- Israeli security said eight Hamas operatives, members of two cells from the West Bank and East Jerusalem who planned to attack Israelis, have been arrested.

Shin Bet said five members of a Hamas cell operating in East Jerusalem were captured in February. The five were indicted in Jerusalem's District Court Thursday.

Shin Bet Wednesday revealed the January arrests of three Hamas terrorists from the Ramallah area who planned to abduct an Israeli soldier and demand the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Those indicted Thursday were identified as Munir Atun, Ahmed Nimar, brothers Mahmoud and Ahmed Dawit, and Jihad Atun.

Atun, Nimar and Ahmed Dawit allegedly plotted the attacks in a coffee shop in East Jerusalem. Jihad was in contact with Hamas operatives in Gaza and allegedly received money to fund operations, the security agency said.

In February, a Hamas operative in Gaza asked Jihad to carry out an attack similar to the shooting attack at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem in 2008 in which eight students were killed, Shin Bet said. He was arrested by Israeli security forces before he was able to advance the plan and the other cell members were captured.

Shin Bet said Mahmoud Dawit admitted he planted a bomb in a Jerusalem street that exploded, injuring a municipal worker who lost part of his hand, and also planned to place a bomb at a hitchhiking station.

The three Hamas terrorists arrested in January were identified as Hamza Ibrahim Mussa Zahran of Biddu and two operatives originally from Gaza who moved to Ramallah: Nizam Mahmoud Hamtaw Shinina, a former member of the Fatah military wing, and Jihad Hani Deib al-Shami.

Shin Bet said Zahran and Shinina planned to buy land in Ramallah and build a house with a tunnel or hidden room where the kidnapped soldier would be held. They recruited al-Shami who was to live in the house and guard the captive, the security agency said.

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