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Israel arrests 20 Hamas operatives in Hebron raid

Special to WorldTribune.com

JERUSALEM — Israel has raided a major alleged Hamas stronghold in
the West Bank.

The Israel Security Agency reported a raid of a Hamas stronghold in the
southern West Bank city of Hebron. ISA said 20 Hamas operatives were
arrested on suspicion of planning to abduct an Israeli.

Israeli security forces in Hebron. /Miriam Alster/Flash90

“About 20 terrorists affiliated with the Hamas who were planning a
kidnapping attack in order to bargain for the release of prisoners,” ISA
said.

In a statement by ISA and the Israel Army, the Hamas operatives were
said to have been arrested over the last few months. The statement said Hamas sought to establish military headquarters in Hebron.

“A range of ammunition was discovered, including more than 10 different kinds of weapons,” the statement said.

Officials identified some of the detainees. They included Nabil Awada, a resident of the Hebron area village of Dura and identified as commander of the Hamas cell.

Mahmoud Abu Warada was alleged to have supplied weapons to Hamas, while
Tareq Garaib served as liaison to Hamas in Qatar. The Hamas agent in Qatar
was named Hussam Badran, released by Israel in 2011.

Officials said Hamas has tried to restore its military wing throughout
the West Bank. They said Hamas formed secret cells in such cities as
Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarm.

“The terrorists were indicted with the charge of weapon possession,
contacting a hostile organization and conspiracy to kidnap an Israel Defense
Forces soldier,” the statement read.

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