Yoav Zitun
January 5, 2012 - 1:00am

Cleared for publication: Two Arab-Israelis residents of the northern town of Kafr Kanna are accused of joining Hamas ranks in the West Bank.

Brothers Amir Asaad, 29, and Mahmad Asaad, 20, were arrested by the Shin Bet and police last month and their interrogation revealed that they were actively involved with terrorists planning attacks on both sides of the 1967 border.

Several Hamas operatives who were in contact with the brothers were also arrested. The Hamas men admitted to the charges, incriminated the brothers and handed in the weapons that were to be used in carrying out their terror attacks, including shooting attacks on settlers, IDF vehicles and soldiers.

The indictment filed against the brothers in the Nazareth District Court charges them with contact with a foreign agent, weapons charges, aiding and abetting an enemy at wartime.

The Shin Bet said that "the arrest of those involved has led to the thwarting of their activities before they managed to carry out their plans, but the incident demonstrates the potential threat of exploiting Arab-Israelis and recruiting them to terror initiatives and as inter-regional middlemen for terror cells."

Amir, the older of the two brothers, admitted that he has, for a few months now, been in contact with Jafer Sekafi, a Hebron resident who has been waiting to receive 'educational material' from terrorists in Gaza on how to create explosives. Jafer asked Amir to help him in bringing terrorists and explosives into Israel.

Sekafi was held for questioning during which he admitted to being in contact with various operatives in the Gaza Strip and in Israel with the goal of using them to help carry out attacks, receive intel on how to acquire weapons and help terrorists get into Israel.

Establishing Israeli Hamas cell
Younger brother Mahmad admitted to being in contact with Hamas operatives and terrorists in Nablus, Hebron and the Jerusalem region.

He also acted as a middleman between the operatives and admitted that he had agreed to assist them in obtaining weapons for terror attacks, information gathering on IDF personnel deployment and recruiting additional Arab-Israelis.

In addition, Mahmad admitted to meeting with Hamas memberWasis Netzazra from Beit Furik near Nablus, who was staying illegally in Kafr Kanna and who had asked him to help in establishing a Hamas military cell comprising Arab-Israelis who would help the Beit Furik cell in carrying out terror attacks.

In August, Mahmad met another Hamas operative from Beit Furik, Maaruf Htataba, at the Temple Mount. Htataba was planning on using a rifle he had in his possession to carry out attacks. The two Hamas terrorists were arrested and admitted to the charges.


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