Suicide Bombing Thwarted as Israel Catches Hamas Cell

A suicide bombing in Jerusalem was prevented and dozens of Hamas members have been arrested as part of counterterrorism efforts announced on Wednesday by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet or ISA). The report on the arrests, published on the ISA website, noted that Hamas is actively attempting to rebuild its terrorist capabilities in the West Bank. A total of 13 Hamas terror groups have been exposed in the West Bank since May of this year.

The suicide bombing was to take place in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev on August 21. It was prevented when the driver for the suicide terrorist was arrested and disclosed the location of the explosive bag, which was found just one day before the planned attack. The bomb was found in an East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood, hidden next to the home of the driver. The intended suicide terrorist was arrested two days later in Jerusalem.

The Hamas cell was also behind the bombing at the Jerusalem International Convention Center last March. The terror attack killed one British woman and injured 47.

In addition to the suicide bomb that was discovered by the Israeli security forces, additional explosives were discovered in Hebron. The terrorist driver also admitted to plotting a kidnapping attack. The cell was guided by the Syria-based Hamas leadership, which sent funds and instructions.

The counterterrorism report reveals that Hamas members have recruited and shared knowledge about explosives from an Israeli prison as well. Another kidnapping was in the works for a cell that was joined by a terrorist who had been released from prison, but it was prevented and he was again arrested.

While Gaza has been a hotbed of Hamas activity and the terror group’s capability in the West Bank has been diminished, the ISA report notes that they are actively working to rebuild it.

“The exposure of the terror infrastructures proves, once again, that Hamas HQ in Syria, the Gaza Strip, and imprisoned Hamas activists are devoting intensive efforts to restore West Bank-based Hamas military infrastructures aiming to commit lethal attacks within Israel,” said the ISA report. The ISA further noted that Hamas is “highly prepared and highly motivated to commit attacks, particularly kidnapping attacks.”

The report concluded by saying that the counterterrorism effort against such groups “continues with great determination.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, September 7, 2011)