A large scale operation mounted from May to August by the IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) foiled a Hamas network's plot to carry out a coup in the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria.
The news about the operation was under a gag order until today.
The Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria was controlled by a Hamas HQ in Turkey. The plot was to carry out a series of cruel terror attacks against Israel and create a situation of security instability, then take advantage of that situation to take over the PA.
Israel announced that 93 Hamas terrorists were arrested in the operation. Of these, 46 were taken to interrogation by the ISA. Hamas terror funds amounting to over 600,000 shekels (about $170,000) were confiscated and weapons including 54 guns, 6 handguns and 7 RPGs were seized.
The network was assisted by an additional array in Jordan and on carriers, who carried funds amounting to over 2 million NIS into Judea and Samaria for the purchase of weapons and hideout apartments.
The military infrastructure was headed by Riad Nasser, 38, of Deir Kadis in the Binyamin region, who has served several stints in jail for Hamas terror activity.
Nasser was recruited by Saleh Alaruri, 47, who is in charge of the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, and who is currently in Turkey. Nasser's interrogation revealed a carefully crafted plan for toppling the PA government of Mahmoud Abbas.
To this end, a large military infrastructure was set up in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, with the assistance of Hamas leaders in Israeli jails and terrorists who served time in jail and have been freed. The recruits included academicians and students, with an emphasis on students of chemistry and engineering.
The Judea and Samaria infrastructure's direct communication was with the HQ in Jordan, which included Auda Zahran, 53, who directed the funneling of funds for buying weapons, and preparing safe houses that also served as weapons stores.
The netting of the terror infrastructure prevented it from carrying out a series of deadly terror attacks, some of which could have been carried out during Operation Protective Edge.