Israel claims to arrest Hamas cell over attack plot

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, said Wednesday that a three-member Hamas cell was arrested in the occupied West Bank for allegedly plotting attacks.

In a statement, Shin Bet said Issa Shaladeh, 21, and Omar Mas’ud, 20, had been detained on suspicion of being recruited by the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing.

It claimed that the pair had planned to carry out attacks against Israelis and to aid in the transfer of funds to the Palestinian group.

A third Palestinian, who was identified as 24-year-old Hazem Hamayel, a resident of the northern West Bank, was also arrested for allegedly contacting a Hamas official in Gaza “to organize terror attacks in Israel”, the statement said.

There was no comment from Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, on the Israeli claim.

Every now and then, Israeli authorities announce the arrest of Hamas-linked cells for alleged attack plot against Israeli targets in the West Bank.

Israel designates Hamas as a “terrorist” group and has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza since the Palestinian group seized control of the seaside enclave in 2007.

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