Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nablus continues the focus for terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria

in October the Israeli security forces detained a Hamas terrorist squad which carried out a series of shooting attacks in Samaria.Overview

1. According to a report from the Israel Security Agency, in October 2007 a Hamas terrorist squad was uncovered in Nablus . The squad had carried out a number of shooting attacks against Israeli targets in Nablus and the surrounding area. One of them occurred in January 2005 near the settlement of Migdalim , in which two IDF soldiers were killed, and one on October 24, 2007, at the Ariel junction , in which a soldier and civilian were wounded.

2. The exposure of the terrorist squad shows that Nablus continues to be an important center for the terrorist operative activity of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Judea and Samaria . 1 The Palestinian Authority's security services have undertaken intensive security measures during the past few months which have focused on imposing law and order and stopping anarchy, but have avoided dismantling the terrorist networks as demanded by the road map.

Attack at the Ariel Junction (October 2007)

3. On the afternoon of October 24 there was a drive-by shooting at the Ariel Junction in which terrorists opened fire on a number of civilians waiting at a bus stop. An IDF soldier was critically wounded and a civilian was slightly injured. Fatah-Tanzin claimed responsibility for the attack. At the same time, elements within Hamas-Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades claimed that they had carried out the attack but had delayed taking responsibility publicly it out of “field security” considerations (Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades Website, October 25).

4. Interrogation of the Hamas squad revealed that it had in fact carried out the attack, despite the Fatah-Tanzim claim of responsibility. The squad members were Abdallah Quqa , 19, the driver; Amin Quqa , 32; and Amer Tabour , 23, all Nablus residents. They were assisted by Riyad Arafat , 34, the look-out, and Suhayl Quqa , 21, who assisted the squad after the attack. During interrogation they said that a number of days before the attack they had scouted the designated area. After completing preparations they acquired a GMC vehicle with Israeli license plates.

5. The terrorists drove up close to the bus stop and opened fire at the people waiting there, critically wounding a soldier and slightly wounding a civilian. They drove eastward on the trans-Samaria highway, shooting at cars on the way, slightly wounding another civilian and hitting a number of vehicles. They then fled to the village of Jamma'in north of Ariel, were they set their vehicle on fire. From there they escaped to Nablus in a previously-arranged taxi.

The attack at Migdalim (January 2005)

6. On January 7, 2005, a terrorist squad disguised in IDF uniforms pretended to hitch a ride with an Israeli vehicle near the settlement of Migdalim. When it stopped the operatives opened fire at the passengers, killing the driver, an IDF soldier named Yosef Atia. Another soldier, Arieh Buda, died later of his wounds. Two other soldiers were slightly wounded. Some of the Hamas terrorists responsible for the attack at the Ariel junction also carried out the Migdalim attack.

1 In September 2007 a suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv was prevented when a Hamas terrorist operative from Nablus led the police to an explosive belt which had been hidden in the southern part of the city. For further information see our October 24, 2007 Bulletin entitled “A suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv was prevented by the detention of a Hamas operative which led to the discovery of an explosive belt”

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)

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