Israel’s version of the FBI found a near seven-pound bomb and arrested members of a terror cell, thwarting a terror attack that could’ve killed dozens of Israelis in Jerusalem.
The Shin Bet announced Tuesday that the Hamas members from Hebron were planning to throw a lethal bomb into a crowded street in Jerusalem this summer. Israeli intelligence found the 3 kg. (6.6 pounds) bomb the terrorists intended to use.
Under orders from Hamas’s military wing in Gaza, the cell was formed in order to carry out attacks against Israeli and Palestinian Authority targets.
“The operatives in the West Bank were instructed to form cells in order to carry out kidnappings, shootings and stabbings, purchase weaponry, and find and recruit additional operatives for terrorist activities,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
The Shin Bet arrested bomb maker and university student Tamer Rajah Rajbi, 22. Trained in manufacturing explosive devices, he set up a lab in his home and even kept some of the materials in a school next to his house, putting children and nearby civilians at risk.
“Tamer was trained by a network in the Gaza Strip, using the internet, receiving a detailed presentation on how to purchase the ingredients needed to create explosive and how to manufacture [bombs],” the Shin Bet said.
“During his arrest, Tamer handed over an explosive device weighing three kilograms (6.6 pounds), which had dozens of pieces of metal attached to it to maximize fragmentation and injury in the explosion.”
Rajbi was going to build more bombs and recruited another student, Yusef Atrash, 22, to help him.
“The Hamas terror group is not queasy about the tools it uses and takes advantage of young people from the West Bank, harming them and their families, in order to advance terrorist activities,” the Shin Bet said.
In recent months, the Shin Bet has thwarted several attempts by Hamas to establish cells that would carry out terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank. In May, they arrested another Hamas agent from Gaza who got into Israel under the guise of needing medical treatment. He was also trained to create explosives and bombs with the aim of carrying out attacks against Israelis, the Shin Bet said.