Following Halevi, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar says Israeli forces recently foiled a cell in the West Bank city of Jenin that was seeking to fire rockets at Israel, under the direction of one of the senior Islamic Jihad operatives killed overnight.
“We don’t intend to let Afula… become a target for [rocket] fire,” he says, referring to the northern Israeli city.
Bar says Tareq Izz ed-Din and Jihad Ghanem were arch-terrorists who orchestrated terror in Gaza from the West Bank, while Khalil Bahtini played a central role in rocket fire from Gaza.
Izz ed-Din operated 20 terror cells targeting Israel, he says.
One of these was the cell in Jenin refugee camp that “in recent weeks… had begun producing rockets and launchers” to fire at Israel — in what Bar called “a dangerous precedent.”
The members of the cell were arrested and confessed, he says.
He mentions another cell, thwarted in Ramallah, that was planning to fly attack drones into Israel.
He notes that Palestinian Jihad is “fully funded by Iran… The hands are Palestinian, but the voice is Iran’s.”
“We won’t let Iran work via proxies,” and Israel will counter all its efforts, he adds.
Bar then elaborates on the mentions by Netanyahu and Gallant that Ghanem orchestrated the murders of the Hatuel family — Tali Hatuel and her four daughters — in Gaza 19 years ago.
He stresses that “closing the circle” is a central imperative in the security services, crucial to Israeli deterrence, and providing some comfort to the families of victims.
The elimination of Jihad Ghanem closes that circle, he says. “The family remembers, and the Shin Bet does not forget.”
“We’ll get to them all, wherever they are,” he warns.