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      Israel Preemptively Grabs Hamas Kidnapper

      Israeli intelligence officers three weeks ago reportedly grabbed a Hamas officer in Sinai who was planning to kidnap Israelis.
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 12/24/2011, 7:50 PM

      Sinai Peninsula
      Sinai Peninsula
      Flash 90

      In what some may see as an ironic twist of fate a Hamas security officer who was grabbed by Israeli intelligence in the Sinai and transferred to Eilat three weeks ago was planning to kidnap Israelis.

      According to a Friday report in Asharq al-Aswat Taher Atwa, whose family lives in the Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City, was abducted in Sinai and handed over to GSS officers in Eilat.

      GSS officers reportedly called Atwa's family to inform them he was being held and was under investigation.

      According to Atwa's lawyer he was travelling with a group of "young people" from Gaza, but could not say whether had also been grabbed and transferred to Israel or managed to return to Gaza via Hamas' smuggling tunnels.

      He added that Atwa's remand was extended for ten days, and that he was being investigated for planning to abduct Israeli citizens in Sinai, trying to launch rockets at Israel, and carrying out bomb attacks in Israel.

      Atwa’s family told Maan News he was an active member of Hamas' security forces Gaza. They did not try to explain his presence in Sinai, or his reason for meeting with local Bedouins there.

      Bedouin tribes affiliated with Al Qaeda in Sinai have been responsible for most of the terror incidents on the peninsula – including the repeated attacks on the gas pipeline to Israel.

      Hamas has made kidnapping Israelis – especially IDF personnel – a priority after the success of their deal with Israel to free 1,027 terrorists in exchange for abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.

      Earlier this year senior Hamas engineer Dirar Abu Seesi disappreared from a train in the Ukraine and later appeared in an Israeli prison in Ashkelon.

      Abu Seesi, who conducted critical rocket technology development for Hamas, was believed at the time to have information on the whereabouts of Gilad Shalit.