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Palestinian twin sisters accused of making bombs for attacks

One 18-year-old learned how to make explosives from online videos, second helped hide them in their house, Shin Bet says

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Diana Hawila (left), and Nadia Hawila (right), twin sisters from the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, were arrested by Israeli security forces in December 2015 for making pipe bombs and other explosive devices for use in terror attacks, the Shin Bet security service revealed on January 25, 2016. (Shin Bet)
Diana Hawila (left), and Nadia Hawila (right), twin sisters from the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, were arrested by Israeli security forces in December 2015 for making pipe bombs and other explosive devices for use in terror attacks, the Shin Bet security service revealed on January 25, 2016. (Shin Bet)

Israeli security forces arrested 18-year-old bomb-making twin sisters from Shwaika, outside the Palestinian city of Tulkarem in the West Bank last month, the Shin Bet security service announced Monday.

Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Shin Bet officers discovered pipe bombs and other explosive materials in the home of Diana and Nadia Hawila in late December 2015, officials said.

In addition, they found knives, Hamas headbands and “equipment for riots,” the Shin Bet said in a statement, though it did not claim that the twins were, in fact, Hamas members.

“This investigation again shows the motivation to carry out terror attacks, especially among those who are not a part of terrorist organizations, including women,” the Shin Bet said.

Pipe bombs found in the home of Diana and Nadia Hawila outside of Tulkarem in late December. (Shin Bet)
Pipe bombs found in the home of Diana and Nadia Hawila outside of Tulkarem in late December 2015. (Shin Bet)

In interrogation, Diana Hawila admitted that she had purchased the fertilizer and other chemicals necessary to create the explosives.

She learned how to create bombs by watching instructional videos online, according to the Shin Bet. Diana also watched Islamic extremist videos that encouraged women to take part in terror attacks against Israelis and Jews, which “strengthened her decision to act,” the Shin Bet said.

“There is a significant increase in the use of the Internet in order to create weapons for use in terror attacks and the spreading of inciting messages,” the security service said in a statement.

Security forces find matches and marbles in the home of Diana and Nadia Hawila, which can be used during violent demonstrations, in December 2015. (Shin Bet)
Security forces find matches and marbles in the home of Diana and Nadia Hawila, which can be used during violent demonstrations, in December 2015. (Shin Bet)

Diana planned to use her homemade explosive devices against Israeli citizens and soldiers, the Shin Bet added.

Nadia Hawila helped her sister hide the pipe bombs in the home that the two shared, the security service said.

This week the two were indicted in a military court in the Samaria region of the West Bank. Diana Hawila has been accused of creating explosive devices and for the sale of war materials. Nadia Hawila has been charged with the sale of war materials.

On Sunday, the Shin Bet revealed they had captured two young men also in the Tulkarem area who are believed to have shot and injured an IDF soldier.

It was not immediately clear if the pair were associated with any larger terror organizations, or if they had acted independently.

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