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Hamas explosives expert apprehended in Israel

The Israeli Shin Bet security service said it has uncovered an attempt by Hamas to send an explosives expert from Gaza into the West Bank with the aim of creating an explosives lab.

Fadi Abu al-Sabah was arrested on 18 May 2019 in Taibeh, an Arab city east of Netanya. He is a resident of Nusseirat in Gaza. He entered Israel on a humanitarian permit in order to receive medical treatment. The explosives lab would have been created with the intention of developing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for use in terrorist attacks in Israel.

The Shin Bet said: “Fadi Abu al-Sabah was recruited into the Hamas military wing in July 2018, in order to establish a lab for the production of explosives to be used in severe terrorist attacks the goal of which was to kill Israelis. He underwent intensive military training that prepared him to manufacture explosive materials and IEDs. He was also trained how to pass the questioning at Erez Crossing and interrogation by the ISA [Shin Bet], and was instructed to deny knowing his Gaza-based handlers and trainers.”

Fadi paid a doctor to forge documents to allow him to receive a permit for treatment in Israel. The Shin Bet said: “He exploited the humanitarian permit he had received … instead, he joined up with elements in Hebron in order to advance terrorist activities and carry out his mission.”

Yesterday the Security Cabinet met at the IDF Gaza Division headquarters. Netanyahu said: “Our policy is clear: We want to restore the calm but at the same time we are also prepared for a wide-ranging military campaign, if it proves necessary. These are my instructions to the IDF.”