More than 40 Palestinians suspected of being Hamas operatives seeking to establish terrorist infrastructures in Judea and Samaria have been arrested over the past few months, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency revealed Wednesday.
The suspects were tasked with creating a wide terrorist network in Nablus and the surrounding villages, and with gathering intelligence to facilitate terrorist attacks across Judea and Samaria. The Shin Bet said the suspects’ interrogation suggested Hamas has been increasing its efforts to establish terror infrastructure in the area, including dividing Judea and Samaria into “sectors,” naming sector chiefs, and tasking them with promoting various Hamas activities in the area, including in the fields of education, economy, communications, propaganda, charity work, and providing financial aid to Palestinian prisoners’ families.
Sector chiefs were also tasked with promoting Hamas’s military interests in Judea and Samaria, including intelligence-gathering. According to the Shin Bet, the investigation also uncovered a Hamas terrorist cell operating in the Faraa refugee camp, near Jenin, whose members confessed to purchasing military-grade equipment such as night-vision goggles ahead of a planned terrorist attack.
“This investigation once again exposes the great efforts the Hamas leadership, on the ground and overseas, is willing to make to establish a solid, extensive, well-funded, and sustainable terrorist infrastructure in Samaria,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.