Israeli intel: Hamas used disposable cell phones to order missile-production

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JERUSALEM — Israel has determined that the Hamas regime was
establishing an infrastructure for missile and rocket production in the West

The Israel Security Agency determined that Hamas ordered cells in the
West Bank to manufacture missiles and rockets. ISA said Hamas
operatives were led by a Palestinian attorney and based in the Ramallah

Palestinian  militants from the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad organization display rockets at an undisclosed location in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.  /Kutup Dalgakiran/AFP/Getty Images
Palestinian militants display rockets at an undisclosed location in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. /Kutup Dalgakiran/AFP/Getty Images

“Communication between Hamas operatives in Gaza and the members of the terror network was carried out via e-mail and the use of disposable cell
phones,” ISA said.

In a statement on May 8, the agency said the missile production cell was
directed by Hamas officers in the Gaza Strip. ISA identified the cell leader
as Ahmed Abu Fahida, an attorney and liaison with the Gaza Strip.

“The network’s handlers in Gaza provided Abu Fahida with instructions on how to manufacture explosives and identify potential kidnapping victims,” the agency said.

Israel has long been tracking Hamas efforts to build missile and rockets
in the West Bank.

Officials said such a capability would enable Hamas and its allies to target the Tel Aviv area as well as Ben-Gurion International

ISA said the cell, discovered in January and February 2013, was also
working on other operations, including planting bombs and abducting
Israel soldiers. The agency said Abu Fahida told his Gaza handlers of an
imminent attack.

“Investigations revealed that just days before the arrests, Abu Fahida
had sent word to Gaza that the members of the terror network were on the
verge of being ready to carry out their attacks,” ISA said.

Officials said Abu Fahida, 26, was recruited to Hamas’ military wing,
Ezzedin Kassam Brigades, by Ahmed Ouda, identified as an officer in the Gaza
Strip. They said Abu Fahida, told Israeli interrogators that his first
assignment was to abduct an Israeli soldier, remove his identity card and
cell phone and then kill him. The body of the Israeli was to have been
buried in a secret location.

In January, Abu Fahida recruited Ahmed Yassin Shabrawi, a Hamas
operative released by Israel. ISA said the two men drafted the abduction plans in January 2012.

“They made preparations to procure weapons and the necessary materials
to manufacture rockets and also marked potential recruits for their terror
squad,” ISA said.

In March 2013, the alleged Hamas operatives were tried in the Israeli
military court in the West Bank. The military said the trial has not been

This marked the second Hamas cell captured by Israel that sought to
build missiles and rockets in the West Bank. Officials said the first cell,
captured in March 2012, was sponsored by Hamas Interior Minister Fathi

“This latest exposure of yet another terror network proves, once again,
the high motivation of terror organizations, led by Hamas, to promote and
carry out attacks on Israeli soil,” a military statement said.

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