The Shin Bet security service arrested two Palestinian men suspected of planning to carry several attacks on behalf of Hamas, the agency announced on Sunday.
The arrests were made during a West Bank-wide crackdown, in which several other suspected Hamas members were detained, the Shin Bet said.
Military prosecutors are expected to file indictments against all of the suspects in the coming days.
The two men — Muhammad A’azi from Jama’in in the northern West Bank and Noor Aldin Ghaith from Hebron — allegedly planned to lay down nails along a roadway in order to force cars to stop and then open fire, making their attack more lethal, the Shin Bet said.
The two had reportedly scouted out different roads ahead of their attack. After his arrest, A’azi also handed over a weapon to the Shin Bet, which they said he planned to use in the attack.
The pair is also suspected of creating improvised explosive devices and testing them out ahead of a potential attack.
“They planned to put a propane tank rigged to explode at the entrance to a village and detonate it on a military vehicle,” the Shin Bet said.
‘They planned to place a propane tank rigged to explode at the entrance to a village and detonate it on a military vehicle’
The security service also picked up a group of alleged Hamas members from Biddu, in the central West Bank, who are suspected of carrying out a number of attacks near the Jerusalem suburbs of Har Adar and Ma’ale Hahamisha.
The Shin Bet did not respond to a Times of Israel’s request for an exact number of people arrested in the crackdowns.
The suspects are believed to have thrown improvised explosive devices and Molotov cocktails at the two communities, as well as carrying out one shooting at Har Adar and planning a second. There were no injuries reported in the incidents.
In recent weeks, the security service has also arrested several students from Birzeit University in the West Bank, members of the Hamas-affiliated Kutla Islamiyah, believed to be helping the terrorist group strengthen its grip on the campus, the Shin Bet said.
“[The group’s] activities included rallies, recruiting new members and raising funds,” the agency said.
Last week, the Shin Bet arrested a number of high-ranking Hamas members, including three members of the Palestinian parliament.
In January, the Shin Bet also exposed an alleged “hearts and minds” effort by Hamas to win over local Palestinian support for the terrorist organization.
This Hamas operation, which included dozens of operatives, was geared toward winning over the Palestinian population through social outreach projects and financial assistance.
“The discovery of this infrastructure teaches us about the ongoing strategic intentions of Hamas to operate and set itself up in the field, as it tries to undermine the local authority. And this is done alongside its attempts to carry out vicious terror attacks,” the Shin Bet said in a statement at the time.