The Israeli occupation army conducted on Wednesday a largescale arrest campaign in the West Bank against high-ranking “Hamas” officials, including Hassan Youssef, after bursting into his house in the town of Beitunia, in Ramallah.
The campaign also involved “Hamas” activists, former prisoners and university students and came as Israel announced that it foiled a kidnap plot in the West Bank, blaming “Hamas” for planning it.
Spokesperson for the Israeli premiership Ofir Gendelman said Wednesday: “The Israel Security Agency (Shabak) and the Israeli Police recently foiled an attempted kidnapping in Samaria, planned by Hamas, and which was scheduled for the Hanukkah holiday.”
During October and November, Shabak discovered that members of a “Hamas” terror cell from Kafr Tal, near Shechem (Nablus) were planning a terror attack, he added.
According to Gendelman, the police arrested Mouad Ashtiya, the cell’s leader, Mohammad Ramadan and Ahmad Ramadan, all from “Hamas.”
He said members of the cell were in contact with “Hamas” member Oumar Atzeida, who serves as a Gaza commander and moves money from Gaza to Judea and Samaria to launch operations against Israel.
In the course of the investigation, the Shabak also uncovered that the three gathered exact intelligence about the routes, bus stops and central junctions, and were planning to disguise themselves as Israeli civilians to force the abductees into their vehicles.
Husam Badran, a member of Hamas' political bureau, said in a statement Wednesday that the “arrest campaigns against the movement’s leaders and members, including Sheikh Hassan Youssef, will only make the movement and the Palestinian people stronger and more determined to continue their Intifada until accomplishing their objectives.”