The Shin Bet announced Thursday that a group of five Hamas militants, planning terror attacks in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, was arrested. The arrests had previously been under a gag order.
The group has allegedly been operating since Operation Cast Lead, the Israel Defense Forces operation that took place in the Gaza Strip in the winter of 2008-2009.
One of the group members was arrested in February, prompting another member to attempt to dispose a bomb they had created for a planned bombing in the contested Jerusalem Gilo neighborhood.
According to a Shin Bet report, the cell was preparing to carry out a shooting attack similar to that which took place in the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where 8 students were murdered.
For that purpose, the Shin Bet says, a known Gaza Hamas operative, transferred 10,000 Jordanian Dinar to cell member Jihad Atun through money exchangers in Jordan and Jerusalem, promising another 20,000 in a later date.
The cell members planned to use the funds to purchase an M-16 assault rifle as well as two pistols. At this point Atun was detained for investigation, with the rest of the cell arrested later on.
While cell members were investigated, the Shin Bet says, Mahmet Dawiyat, the brother of cell-member Ahmed Dawiyat, admitted to preparing a pipe bomb which he said was to be used in an attack on an attack on a bus stop in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.
Eventually, however, Dawiyat decided to discard the explosive device in Jerusalem’s Hebron road. In early March, a municipal cleaning worker was maimed after he had picked up the trash bag in which the device was hidden.