´Hamas operates freely in Sinai, planning attacks right under the Egyptians´ noses´ (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Avi Issacharoff 03/22/12)
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Hamas militants operate freely in Sinai, planning terror attacks
against Israel under the Egyptians´ noses, an indictment filed on
Wednesday against a Hamas operative claims.
The indictment, against Mohammed Abu Aadra, detailed what it termed a
Hamas plan to abduct a soldier from an army outpost near Eilat,
smuggle him to Sinai and then take him to the Gaza Strip through a
tunnel. It said Gazan militant groups have settled in the Sinai
Peninsula, from which they travel freely to and from Gaza.
Despite Hamas´ announcement that it would focus on popular resistance
against Israel, the group has not stopped trying to send militants to
abduct Israeli soldiers or carry out suicide attacks in Israel, said
the indictment, which was filed in the Be´er Sheva District Court.
Abu Aadra, 20, of the Gazan town of Rafah, was arrested by Shin Bet
security service agents last month after he entered Israel from the
According to the indictment, Abu Aadra admitted during his Shin Bet
interrogation that he had traveled to Sinai through a tunnel about a
year ago. In Sinai, he was contacted by a relative, Rushdi Abu Aadra,
who asked him to monitor and gather information on Israeli military
and civilian targets for Hamas´ commander in Sinai, Yunes Abu Shluf.
In particular, Abu Aadra was instructed to gather information about
Israel´s security deployment and guard outposts near the Taba border
crossing between Israel and Sinai, as well as about military bases
along the border. Hamas also asked him to gather information about
the city of Eilat.
The indictment said that Mohammed and Rushdi Abu Aadra did most their
intelligence gathering together, from Israeli territory. On one
occasion, it said, the two videotaped Eilat´s airport from a distance
of about 200 meters. On another, they videotaped the Uvda military
airport near Eilat. Afterward, they allegedly gave the footage to
In late 2011, Abu Aadra returned to Gaza, where he was taken to a
meeting with Raid al-Atar, who commands Gaza´s southern sector on
behalf of Hamas´ military wing. Al-Atar was allegedly involved in the
abduction of soldier Gilad Shalit, as well as in the deal to release
At that meeting, Abu Aadra allegedly agreed to fire a missile at a
civilian bus, or at other targets on the Israel-Sinai border. That
attack, he told his interrogators, was slated to be part of a planned
abduction of an Israeli soldier.
Hamas also planned to send a terrorist cell into Eilat, he told his
interrogators, and he agreed to guide the terror cell into Eilat.
In recent weeks, Egypt has stopped supplying Gaza with fuel. Israeli
sources said this might be intended to punish Hamas for its
continuing plans to carry out attacks on Israel from Sinai. The
Egyptians fear such attacks could further jeopardize American
financial aid, which is already in danger, the sources said.
Abu Aadra was charged with contact with a foreign agent, membership
in an illegal organization, conspiracy to commit murder and abduct a
soldier, and intent to undermine national security.
"This activity shows the ease with which the terror organizations
operate in Sinai and the potential they see there," a Shin Bet source
said. "Hamas is continuing its intensive efforts to carry out attacks
against Israel." (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 03/22/12)
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