Israel arrests Hamas members for allegedly planning attacks

Israel`s security agency announced Monday that it apprehended 11 Hamas operatives in the West Bank city of Hebron in January, who allegedly planned to carry out attacks against Israelis.

Jerusalem: Israel`s security agency announced Monday that it apprehended 11 Hamas operatives in the West Bank city of Hebron in January, who allegedly planned to carry out attacks against Israelis.

The main suspects are 20-year-old Sahaib Mamun Saltan and his cousin, 28-year-old Salam Abbas Saltan, who once served in Israeli prison, Xinhua news gency reported citing Israel`s Shin Bet security sgency. Both are from Hebron.

The agency said the two had confessed to plotting attacks near Hebron at the end of 2014, planning to detonate an explosive device against Israeli soldiers, but the plan was aborted due to technical difficulties.

The suspects, along with their collaborators, allegedly gathered intelligence in order to plan attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

"The cell`s activities show the real threat of Hamas in Hebron, in particular from military operatives who had been detained in the past and who returned to the cycle of terror," the Shin Bet said in a statement.

Military prosecutors would be given the files of the suspects and legal proceedings would take place in the upcoming days, the Shin Bet added.

Israeli security forces conducted a major operation against Hamas in the Hebron area in the West Bank in June last year, after three Israeli teens were kidnapped and killed by Palestinian militants in the West Bank.

Thousands of Israeli security troops were deployed during the operation which was dubbed "Brother`s Keeper", while hundreds of Palestinians were arrested and several Hamas institutions in the West Bank shut down.  

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