Pesach Massacre Averted: Hamas Mass Murder Car was in Tel Aviv

Hamas' terror cell in Kalkilye - which carried out Dolphinarium massacre - has been rebuilt with the help of Iran and Syria.

Gil Ronen and Hillel Fendel ,

Aftermath of Park Hotel massacre, 2002
Aftermath of Park Hotel massacre, 2002

For as yet unknown reasons, a massive Hamas terror attack intended to take place in the Tel Aviv area during the Passover Seder was averted. A similar attack five years ago killed 30 people in Netanya and triggered the IDF's Operation Defensive Shield.

The General Security Service (Shabak) released the news of the near-attack while announcing that it had arrested 19 Hamas terrorists in Kalkilye who were involved with this and other planned attacks. 

The Shabak said that a Hamas terrorist had successfully entered the Greater Tel Aviv area in a car laden with 100 kg. (220 lbs.) of explosives before Passover. Besides the explosives, it contained large amounts of shrapnel material, intended to maximize carnage. For reasons that are not yet known, the attack was not carried out and the terrorist drove the car back to Kalkilye, from where it had come. The car exploded in Kalkilyeh, in what the Shabak says was a 'work accident.'

Some reports say the suicide terrorist simply "changed his mind."
The terrorist carries a blue Israeli ID card as a result of his marriage to an Arab-Israeli.

The would-be suicide terrorist was able to drive the car into Tel Aviv with the help of his Israeli ID card, which he received as a result of his marriage (or his father's, according to some versions) to an Arab-Israeli from Taibeh. The ID made it easy for him to drive past IDF roadblocks from Kalkilye – which is under Hamas/Palestinian Authority control – into the nearby Tel Aviv area. His vehicle also carried Israel license plates.

Security officials note that Arab terror organizations routinely make use of family ties to Israeli-Arabs in order to facilitate terror attacks.  

Kalkilye, east of Raanana, is surrounded by the partition fence on three sides, part of which is a tall concrete wall.  PA affairs correspondent Haggai Huberman notes the irony: "While the State of Israel spends billions of shekels on walls and fences, at the same time it issues Palestinian terrorists Israeli ID cars so that the terrorists can turn the wall/fence into a mockery and cross them easily."


Huberman adds that the Shabak has admitted that Israel's attempt to prevent harm to the fabric of life of the Arabs of Kalkilye and nearby "allows free movement to those with Israeli ID cards, and even those with PA identity cards, in and out of Kalkilye."


"We also see," Huberman noted, "that specifically in Kalkilye, one of the quieter PA cities, Hamas terrorists are now working to carry out major attacks, after spending time building their capabilities to do so.  The stage of 'building the force' has passed, and the process is now in the stage of 'carrying out attacks.'  Even after the arrest of the 19, attacks are still being planned, including in the immediate short-range."

The Kalkilye Hamas infrastructure was responsible for the massacre of 21 young Israelis outside the Dolphinarium discotheque in June 2001. After a period of dormancy it has now rebuilt itself, according to security officials. The officials say that from November 2006, Hamas has been upgrading its terror abilities in Judea and Samaria, and preparing attacks that can be carried out at short notice. Iran and Syria have been assisting this project.

The Shabak recently carried out numerous arrests among Hamas terrorists in the Kalkilye area, after a period in which the local Hamas cell grew and developed its abilities to carry out attacks. The GSS action was intended to prevent attacks during the Pesach holiday. The results of the interrogations which followed showed that the Hamas terror infrastructure in Kalkilye was working on several attacks simultaneously.

The officials say that Hamas has switched phases from preparation of the attacks to implementation, and is now planning to launch additional attacks.