The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and Jerusalem District Police revealed on Tuesday the existence of an eastern Jerusalem Hamas terror cell that had been planning to assassinate Israel public figures.

Among those targeted by the cell, which was first discovered early last month, were Knesset member and Otzma Yehudit Party head Itamar Ben-Gvir, according to the Shin Bet.

Cell members had purchased a drone and were planning to arm it for an attack on the Jerusalem light rail system, the Shin Bet said.

It named Rashid Rashak, a prominent Hamas operative and a resident of the Old City of Jerusalem, as allegedly plotting shooting or suicide bombing attacks in Jerusalem, together with Mantzur Tzafadi, another Hamas operative, from the Abu Tur neighborhood south of the Old City.

“The Shin Bet investigation revealed that the cell members planned to hide out in Hebron or Jenin after carrying out the attacks,” said the security agency.

Rashak also “set up a system of operatives in Jerusalem aimed at conducting disturbances in neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount during the last Ramadan period to undermine stability on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. Operatives received many fireworks, flags and Hamas ribbons in the east of the city and the Temple Mount for use during disturbances during the Ramadan month,” it added.

Five of the suspects were charged with severe security offenses on Tuesday by Jerusalem District prosecutors.


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