IDF Arrests 2 Hamas Leaders in Samaria

IDF forces entered Tubas in northern Samaria after midnight and arrested two Hamas leaders.

Gabe Kahn.,

Counter Terror Operation
Counter Terror Operation
Flash 90

IDF forces on Thursday arrested two Hamas leaders from Tubas in northern Samaria, PA security forces say.

Soldiers reportedly entered Tubas shortly after midnight and detained Faze Sawaftah, 41, and Nader Sawaftah, 37.

An Israeli army spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the arrests.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs complained that "Israel was escalating a campaign of arrests against Palestinian leaders."

Israel has launched a full court press against the Hamas terror organization in Judea and Samaria after security services broke up several of its terror cells in the region in July 2011.

All of the cells, including one responsible for the 23 March 2011 Jerusalem bus bombing that killed 1 and wounded 47, were reported to have been in various stages of operational readiness and were stopped before they could carry out their attacks - including a suicide bombing in Jerusalem slated for 21 August 2011.

In January, the IDF arrested five Hamas MPs on suspicion of terror activities in a one week period. Two of them had been hidden from security services by the Red Cross in Jerusalem for 18 months.

The IDF has also stepped up operations against Islamic Jihad in Judea and Samaria in recent months. In August 2011 Islamic Jihad staged a terror attack on bus 329 near Eilat that killed 8 Israelis and wounded 29.

In late January, the GSS and Israel Police foiled a shooting attack planned by an Israeli Arab in collaboration with an Islamic Jihad terror cell in Tulkarem. All three terrorists involved were indicted.

Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza - heavily involved in rocket attacks on Israel's southern communities - have been targeted with airstrikes.