ISA Press Release: Islamic Jihad Plan to Carry Out Large-Scale Terrorist
Attack and Abduct and Murder an IDF Soldier Thwarted
(Communicated by the ISA)
The following has been cleared for publication:
On 21 September 2016, at Erez Crossing, the ISA, in cooperation with the
Israel Police, arrested Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha, a resident of Khan
Younis, as he sought to enter Israel via the Erez Crossing ostensibly for
commercial purposes. During his investigation it was learned that he led a
terrorist cell guided by Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, and had been
planning to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack at an events hall in
the south and to abduct and murder an IDF soldier for bargaining purposes.
It was also learned that Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha had been recruited by
Wael Sufiyan Abu Taha, a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist, who resides in
Gaza, and who had directed him to establish a military infrastructure and
prepare to carry out the aforementioned attacks. Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu
Taha, in turn, recruited three additional cohorts who have also been
* Shafik Hamad Abu Taha, born in 1961, from the Gaza Strip, who had been
present in Israel illegally. He was employed at the events hall where the
attack was to have been perpetrated.
* Ahmed Taysir Abdul Rahman Abu Taha, born in 1977, from the Gaza Strip, who
had also been present in Israel illegally; and
* Hani Massoud Nasir Abu Amra, born in 1976, originally from Deir Al-Balah,
who had been living in the south after receiving temporary resident status
for “family unification.”
It was further learned that in order to advance terrorist activities,
Mahmoud and Shafik had carried out an advance tour of the designated events
hall, and formulated and developed an operative plan in order to maximize
the number of casualties.
At the same time, Mahmoud began to plan to abduct and murder an IDF soldier
for bargaining purposes. To this end, he received, from Wael Sufiyan Abu
Taha, thousands of shekels in order to rent a flat in Israel to which the
soldier would be taken in order to be murdered and buried; his personal
effects were to be delivered to the Gaza Strip to be used for negotiations.
Indictments were filed today (Thursday, 20 October 2016), in Be’er Sheva
District Court by the State Attorney’s Office (Southern District).
This grave case underscores – again – the efforts of Gaza Strip-based
terrorists to carry out murderous attacks in Israel, in addition to their
activities in the Strip. The case also reiterates the manner in which
terrorists will exploit humanitarian and economic permits to enter Israel,
as well as the risk posed by Palestinians present in Israel illegally.