It has been cleared for publication that a terror ring that had been planning a mass terror attack at an event hall in southern Israel has been arrested. The ring had also been planning to capture and murder a soldier so as to use his body as a bargaining chip.
Mahmoud Yusef Hassin abu Taha of Khan Yunis in Gaza, who was arrested last month for trying to pass into Israel, revealed upon investigation that he stood at the head of an Islamic Jihad-affiliated organization in the Gaza Strip that had planned to carry out a number of attacks. In addition, it was revealed that Mahmoud had been drafted by Wael Sufyan Abu Taha, a senior operative of Islamic Jihad living in Gaza, who instructed Mahmoud to set up a terror infrastructure for carrying out attacks.
Mahmoud didn’t hesitate, and drafted three more. One of them, a Gaza resident who had been residing in Israel illegally, was employed at the event hall for which the terror attack was planned.
It was also revealed in the investigation that, for the purposes of preparing the attack, the terror group leader and employee of the hall undertook an initial check of the scene of the planned attack, according to which they were able to consolidate and ensure that a maximum number of people were murdered in the attack.
In tandem, Abu Taha planned an attack whereby a soldier would be captured and murdered - and his body used as a bargaining chip. To this end, he received thousands of shekels to rent an Israeli apartment - to where the soldier would be lured and murdered - to bury his body in the area and to transfer his belongings to Gaza - for the purposes of bargaining with Israel.
The indictment against the terrorists was filed today by the district court in Be’er Sheva.