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Shin Bet arrests 4 Palestinian students recruited by Hamas agents in Turkey

Palestinian residents of the West Bank detained after returning from Turkey

Illustrative - A group of masked Palestinians in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Aug. 4, 2017. (Photo: Sliman Khader/Flash90)

The Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, arrested four Palestinian students from the West Bank who had been recruited by Hamas operatives in Turkey to conduct terror attacks in Israel. 

Ahmed Mahmoud Abu Salah, 24, was one of the students detained by ISA forces for questioning. 

During questioning, Abu Salah revealed he had been recruited by the Hamas terrorist organization, with the assistance of its operative Iyad Aa al-Din al-Qar'a. He said he received military training in Turkey and Syria, including weapons training and how to manufacture explosives. This was done with the purpose to carry out attacks in Israel. 

Before returning to Israel, Abu Salah met with senior Hamas figure Azzam Aqra in Turkey, who asked him to receive weapons and money, and recruit additional terrorist operatives. 

Following Abu Salah’s arrest, three other Palestinians – Iyas Mahmoud Abu Salah, 20; Salah Mahmoud Abu Salah, 23; Hasin Fawaz Aqra, 25 – were brought in for questioning by the ISA, in cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces.

The Shin Bet interrogation revealed that Iyas and Hasin had agreed to enlist with Hamas and undergo training in the Gaza Strip. It was also reported that Iyas planned to carry out a number of terrorist attacks, including an IED (improvised explosive device) attack with Salah. All three suspects were involved throwing stones at Israeli police last April during the Muslim Ramadan.

Shin Bet said the four suspects were in regular contact with a relative, the son of a senior Hamas official, who lives in Turkey.

The security agency also said that Abadah Abu Salah, son of senior Hamas member Salah Abu Salah (no relation to Salah Mahmoud Abu Salah), worked “under the guidance of senior Hamas officials in Turkey” and recruit him and the three others while they were studying there.

Turkey has a close relationship with the Hamas terrorist organization and has regularly hosted its leaders, despite complaints from Israel, which contends that Hamas uses operatives in Turkey to plan terror attacks against its citizens. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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