A terrorist plot to detonate a bomb in the Mamila Mall near the Old City in Jerusalem was foiled by Israel's security forces, a police spokesperson announced Sunday.
The attack was planned for one of the upcoming Jewish holidays.In a joint operation conducted during August by Israeli Police, the Shin Bet and a special operations unit, a terrorist cell comprised of two Israeli Arabs from the Shuafat camp and the Ras-El-Amud neighborhood in Jerusalem were arrested on suspicion of planning to transfer a bomb from the Judea and Samaria area into Jerusalem.
The two, aged 22 and 25, both cleaning workers at the mall, admitted to the charges and the police intend to submit an indictment against them today. They will be charged with assisting the enemy, conspiring to commit a crime and with an attempt to produce weapons.
The two would have taken advantage of their Israeli identity cards and privileges as citizens to execute the attack.They were recruited by Hamdi Hasnin Hamdi Romana, a Hamas terrorist from Ramallah, several months ago. During his interrogation an explosives lab was exposed in his home.
He admitted to having contacts with a chemist and told of how he tried to procure materials for a bomb.
The cell had further plans to attack IDF soldiers, and to produce rockets and fire them from the Ramallah area at Israeli communities in the vicinity.The spokesperson stressed that the exposure of the cell indicates a high motivation by Hamas to execute terrorist attacks in Israel, and pointed to the threat posed by Arabs with Israeli ID's who can exploit them to attack Israelis.
In March 2011 a bomb exploded at Benyanei Hauma in Jerusalem, and in November 2012 a bomb exploded in a bus in Tel Aviv. In both incidents the bomb was produced by Hamas and planted by Israeli Arabs.