Hamas’s military wing on Wednesday said a Palestinian assailant, recently killed during a car-ramming attack on Israeli soldiers near Hebron, was a former member of a West Bank terror cell.
Qassem Fared Jaber, 31, along with Amir Fouad al-Janadi, 22, both from Hebron, plowed their car into a hitchhiking post on Monday near the settlement of Kiryat Arba, emerged from the vehicle, and opened fire. One soldier was lightly hurt by gunfire.
Troops at the scene shot the attackers and killed them, the IDF confirmed in a statement.
Jaber, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam statement said, once belonged to a West Bank sleeper cell during the Second Intifada.
كتائب القسام: الشهيد قاسم جابر من مدينة الخليل هو أحد أفراد خلايا “الموت السريع” التي تشكلت أواخر عام 2004 . pic.twitter.com/3BNC2cKlDA
— 48 الإخبارية (@48nnews) March 16, 2016
The cell, named “swift death” or “Eztion,” was formed late in 2004 and disbanded by Israeli security forces early in 2006.
Jaber, according to Hamas, took part in four terrorist attacks while in the cell. Two of the attacks failed and in two attacks, in which Israelis were killed, he served in a logistical capacity, the terror group said.
The first attempted attack was a shooting on Israeli soldiers inside the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist’s weapon failed to fire and he ran away after Israeli soldiers returned fire. Jaber also took part in an earlier attempted attack near Kiryat Arba while a member of the terror cell. According to Hamas, Jaber drove a group of gunmen near the West Bank settlement. The gunmen targeted a civilian car, but once again, their weapons jammed and they escaped unharmed from the scene.
Jaber later reportedly took on a logistical role in two attacks near his hometown: a drive-by shooting near the village of Jabal al-Sanadis in which an Israeli was killed and another shooting attack near the Israeli settlement Beit Hagai, in which two Israel soldiers were killed.
According to a statement from the Shin Bet internal Israeli security service, Jaber was arrested twice for his work with Hamas, from 2001-2003 and from 2006-2009.
Army spokesman Peter Lerner, contacted by AFP, said the Hamas claim on Wednesday “doesn’t come as such a huge surprise.”
“We do see an attempt by Hamas to take advantage of the violence in the region. We have seen this in several attempts to establish new infrastructure” in the West Bank, Lerner said.
Jaber’s partner in last Monday’s attack, al-Janadi, had no prior criminal record according to the statement. The two had worked together in the same vegetable shop in Hebron.
Some 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks since October. Some 190 Palestinians have been killed, around two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report
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