Hamas has long sought to move out of Gaza and establish a footing in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, where they could both increase their attacks on Israel and move towards re-establishing their power in the region controlled by their Palestinian political rivals, the Fatah group. That effort has taken several blows lately, however, as Israel has arrested multiple Hamas terror cells in Judea and Samaria—including one group that already launched attacks.
A press release from the Israel Security Agency (ISA) said the most active cell had been involved in a terror shooting in 2015, planted explosives and had thrown firebombs at IDF units. Members in the cell had planned additional shooting attacks, according to the ISA. And that wasn’t the only shooting plot foiled by the arrests. Another terror cell had set up an elaborate plan to attack civilian and IDF vehicles by using balls on the roads to make the vehicles slow down and “become more vulnerable to attack.” A weapon was also seized in the investigation.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Bir Zeit University had several students arrested for “active” involvement in a Hamas-affiliated terror cell “pursuant to Hamas’s efforts to establish itself on the ground,” according to the ISA press release. The ISA noted that the cell had received funding from a terrorist source. Said the press release, “An ISA investigation revealed significant activity” at Bir Zeit University.
But while the Hamas terrorists have been active in spreading their network in Israel, the Israelis in recent weeks have been active in fighting it back in the ongoing struggle over Judea and Samaria.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 12, 2017)