The Shin Bet and IDF thwarted a large-scale, transnational Hamas terrorism network that was preparing to carry out an array of deadly attacks against Israelis.
It was cleared for publication on Thursday that the network planned to target the landmark Teddy soccer stadium in Jerusalem, the capital’s light rail system, car bombings, and kidnappings of Israelis in the West Bank and overseas.
The nerve center of the network was situated in Hamas’s headquarters in Turkey, the Shin Bet added. Additional intended targets included infiltrations into Israeli communities, shooting and bombing attacks against Israeli traffic and military targets in the West Bank, and setting up terrorist cells in Jordan in order to carry out cross-border attacks into Israel.
The plot, uncovered in September, involved the assembly of multiple terror cells in the West Bank, as well as the training of Hamas members overseas.
More than 30 Hamas members are under arrest, and the Shin Bet has seized two M-16 firearms, ammunition, and bomb-making equipment.
The terrorist network had already begun attacks on August 31, when its members planted two explosives in the northern West Bank. …
In Jordan, the terror network sought out students who are friends of Hamas operatives for recruitment.
The network marked out students who supported the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and had highly developed skills in various areas.
Eventually, recruiters turned to selected would-be operatives with an official request to join Hamas. Those who accepted the offer then came under the command of Hamas’s Turkey-based headquarters, which oversaw their military training.
Training occurred under the supervision of Hamas’s overseas and Gaza-based branches. Recruits received training in Jordan, Turkey, Syria, and the Gaza Strip.
Recruits reached the Gaza Strip through smuggling tunnels, and received weapons training, as well as instruction in terrain analysis, navigation, and how to keep information secret.