BY JIM KOURI
A new round of escalation occurred in southern Israel, during which 105 rockets and an estimated 12 mortar shells hit Israeli territory. Hamas claimed responsibility for most of the rocket launchings, according to a report from the Meir Amit Information Center on Oct. 30, 2012. As a result of the escalation, an Israeli counterterrorism unit on Tuesday hunted down and arrested more members of a large terrorist cell operating in the Ramallah region, an Israeli source told the Law Enforcement Examiner.
The unit was comprised of members from the Israeli National Police, the Israeli Defense Force and the Shin Bet security and intelligence agency. About 30 members of the terrorist group were nabbed, according to details from the anonymous source.
The arrests were kept secret until a judge lifted an Israeli court’s gag order regarding the arrests and the suspects.
The Hamas cell was in the process of trying to renew their operations and establish a field headquarters in the region just north of Jerusalem. However, that territory is recognized as being under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), who control the West Bank.
Hamas, which controls most of the Gaza Strip, and the PNA, which governs the West Bank, continue to be rivals for the designation as the representatives of the Palestinian people.
Israel’s security and intelligence community has always warned the Jewish State’s leaders that the Islamist group, fought for control over the Gaza Strip against another group, known as Fatah, in a bloody war in 2007, is now hoping to take control of the region governed by the duly elected PNA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas, led by Murad abu Baha, is attempting to set up cells among students attending West Bank colleges, as well as raise funds locally, the Israeli source noted.
Among those arrested were the organization’s regional chief, Mahmad Hassan Abed Allah Dahla, and regional Hamas financier Maher Ayoub Abd al-Jalil Delasha, Israel National News said.
The group is connected with the Hamas leadership abroad, according to the Ynet news site.
Meanwhile, Israeli F-16 fighter jets on Sunday night and Monday morning launched a series of air strikes on northern, central and southern Gaza Strip in retaliation for rockets attacks launched from the coastal enclave on Israel, with no injuries reported.
More than 20 rockets fired from Gaza landed on southern Israel, according to the Israeli source.
The fighter jets hovered over the area at night and in the morning, firing four missiles on various terrorist targets.
The Moral Liberal Contributing Editor, Jim Kouri, CPP, is the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Contact Jim.