TEL AVIV Ñ Israel's military has determined that Hamas has been
investing heavily in the insurgency network in the northern West Bank.
Israeli security sources said Hamas headquarters in Syria has been
pouring in large amounts of money to sustain and expand its network in the
northern West Bank. The sources said the network was based in Nablus and
meant to launch suicide bombing attacks in Israel, Middle East Newsline reported.
The Nablus-based cell was said to be the most active in the West Bank
after the military's virtual elimination of the Hamas network in the
southern West Bank city of Hebron. The Nablus cell was responsible for
recruitment, training, procurement of explosives and weapons as well as
forging Israeli identification documents.
In June, Israeli military and security agents captured a Hamas cell that
operated from An Najah University in Nablus. Security sources said the cell,
led by Allah Jaoosi, was in direct contact with Hamas leaders in Syria,
which funded the insurgents.
"The investigation showed that the terrorist cell received a great deal
of financing and assistance from the Hamas infrastructure in Nablus," a
security source said.
[On Thursday, Islamic Jihad commander Zahir Al Ashkar was killed by an
elite Israeli military unit near Tulkarm. Al Askhar was regarded as the
operations chief of Jihad in much of the northern West Bank.
The sources said the Hamas cell in An Najah was one of the most active
in the West Bank. The cell was said to have planned to abduct an Israeli
soldier near the West Bank city of Kalkilya, shooting attacks against
Israeli communities near the city and infiltration of Shoham, a community
inside the pre-1967 Israeli borders.
The plot to attack Shoham included the recruitment of a Palestinian
insurgent disguised as a beggar. The Palestinian, meant to pretend to be
deaf and dumb, was to have distributed an appeal to passersby for entry to
Shoham so that he could solicit residents for money.
The sources said the Hamas cell also planned a suicide bombing in
Netanya. The targets for the attack were said to have been chosen by Asama
Mahana, one of the cell members who had worked in the Netanya industrial
"The members of the terrorist cell worked to purchase weaponry, recruit
suicide bombers for the Hamas terrorist organization, training them in
making explosive devices and forging Israeli identification documents," the
security source said.
Security sources said the Hamas network was composed largely of those
who fled Tulkarm, the target of an intense Israeli military search operation
for insurgents. On July 25, six Fatah insurgents were killed in an operation
Jaoosi was from Tulkarm and in Nablus became head of the Islamic student
bloc in An Najah. Other members of the cell were also identified as student
leaders at An Najah. One of them, Osama Zabahi A-Rahman Abu Haga Mahana
held an Israeli identity card.