Senior Hamas Operative Arrested in the Hebron Region

Earlier this morning, IDF soldiers arrested Wael Mahmoud Said Bitar, a senior member of the Hamas armed infrastructure in the Hebron Region. Bitar was the assistant of Shehab Natshe, who planned the suicide bombing in Dimona of 2008, in which an Israeli woman was killed and ten civilians were injured. After Natshe was killed, Bitar planned several suicide attacks that were eventually thwarted. In September 2008, Bitar was arrested by Palestinian forces.

During this morning’s arrest operation, a Palestinian man who was present in one of the terrorist’s homes was killed. The IDF regrets the outcome of the incident and the GOC Central Command, Maj. Gen Avi Mizrachi has ordered the commander of Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon to immediately investigate the incident and to present its conclusions as early as next week.

In addition to Bitar, four Hamas operatives who were working alongside Bitar were arrested overnight. All five of the Palestinians were released from a Palestinian prison yestersday.

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