"The operatives had already begun scouting the area and had purchased
yarmulkes [Jewish skull caps] and a wig that they planned to use in the
attack," the military said.
"They conducted several months of training before they went on their
first operations," an official said.
So far, at least four members of the alleged Hamas cell have been
captured. On June 22, ISA detained and interrogated the alleged insurgents,
said to have operated from the southern West Bank village of Dir Tsamet, Middle East Newsline reported.
Officials said the suspects, some of whom had served in Israeli prisons,
confessed to killing the Israeli officer, identified as Sgt. Maj. Yehoshua
Sofer, The suspects, one of whose children was recently treated at an
Israeli hospital, were quoted as saying that three members of the cell
opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles from their vehicle upon the signal of
a fourth, assigned to reconnaissance.
"After questioning the operatives, ISA was able to determine that they
had formed the Hamas terror cell a few years ago in order to execute terror
attacks," the Israeli military said on July 19. "For this purpose, the
operatives accumulated munitions, including three AK-47 assault rifles, in a
stockpile hidden in a hilly area."
The Hamas cell was said to have conducted reconnaissance for several
days along Route 60, which runs through the West Bank.
The alleged insurgents noticed a police car that traveled the road every
morning around 7 a.m.