Thwarted: Attempt to Form Terrorist Kidnapping-Cell

A Gaza terrorist has been arrested on his way to carry out a mission for Hamas: the formation of a military cell in Judea and Samaria that would kidnap Israeli soldiers and citizens.

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 11:33 AM

It was released for publication on Tuesday night that Shadi Halawe of Gaza was arrested a month ago in a joint Shabak (General Security Service)-IDF-police operation. He had entered Israel via the Sinai Desert, assigned by the Hamas terror organization with the mission of forming a cell to abduct Israelis. The goal was to use them as hostages for the release of Arab terrorists held in Israeli jails.

Halawe, 26, admitted under interrogation that he had taken part in a wide range of terrorist activities against Israel over the past several years, as a member of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

He joined Islamic Jihad in 2002, and became involved in planning and perpetrating various types of attacks against IDF forces, involving shootings, bombs, grenades, and rockets. Halawe admitted to having recruited one of the three terrorists who killed four soldiers in the Erez Industrial Zone in June 2003.

In 2004, Halawe joined Hamas, on behalf of which he fired RPG shells and placed bombs in many attacks against IDF forces in Gaza. He also took part in dozens of shooting and shelling attacks against Jewish towns in and out of Gaza.

Just a month before the IDF quit Gaza, he was involved in planning a joint shooting-bombing attack against IDF soldiers in Erez, in northern Gaza. The plan was thwarted when IDF forces discovered the bomb in time.

Halawe told his interrogators that he was asked by Hamas operative Mahmoud
Shambari to undertake the mission of forming the kidnapping cell in Judea and Samaria. Shortly after this contact, Halawe left Gaza for Egypt, entering Israel from the Sinai Desert. His agreement with Shambari was that he would receive money once he entered the PA-controlled areas.

Halawe left Gaza twice. The first time occurred shortly after the IDF left Gaza, when the Gaza-Egyptian border was left unsupervised and mobs of Arabs crossed into Egypt. He returned to Gaza, however, for fear of being arrested by Egypt. He later requested a PA permit to leave for medical reasons, which he received easily. Once in Sinai, he hired a smuggler to get him into Israel for $1,000 - but he was arrested soon afterwards, together with other illegal infiltrators, by Israeli forces.