The Israel Security Agency, otherwise known as Shin Bet have announced Wednesday, that last month the organization successfully foiled the plans of an active terror cell in Samaria. The mountainous central region of the ancient Eastern Mediterranean is located north of the West Bank, Israel.

According to ISA, the terror cell was composed of three perpetrators and was “directly in contact with operational entities of the Hamas organization.” The three perpetrators were caught in an advanced phase of what seems to be a kidnapping attempt and believed to have been short of executing their plan, which was to kidnap either a settler from one of the many settlements in the area, or alternatively, a soldier for the purpose of releasing detainees.

So far ISA confirmed that the cell possessed the logistics and capability to conduct such operation, as the cell members were caught with pistols, costumes & tear gas. ISA also stated that the terror cell conducted observation and intel collection of military and civilian movements in distant bus stations or poorly lit junctions within the area of Nablus. In addition, it is believed that the cell had acquired one or more safe houses in Nablus for the purpose of hideout and negotiation.

The Cell

According to ISA, the head of the cell was 26-year-old Mu’ad Ashtiyeh, who believed the be the head and leader of the cell. Mu’ad was responsible for recruitment as well as organization of weapons. In addition to him, there were two more members, the 28-year-old brother Muhammad Ramdan and Ahmad Ramdan. The three admitted to having been in direct contact with Omar Atzida in Gaza for the purpose of money and support.

This foiled attempt of terrorism by Hamas comes after a series of recent confrontations between Israel and Hamas which included assassinations, and disruption of operations as Israel exposed several underground offensive tunnels which crossed well into the Israeli green lines. The IDF eventually blew up the tunnels leading to a high number of casualties.


Featured image courtesy of Israel Security Agency