September 1, 2013, Two men, aged 22 and 25, have confessed to planning a terror attack in Jerusalem at the Mamilla Mall, near the Old City, police sources revealed on Sunday.
The men, who worked as cleaning staff at the mall, planned to use their access to plant a bomb in a trash can at the popular shopping center during the imminent Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) holiday season.
The men are residents of Shuafat and Ras al-Amoud, two East Jerusalem neighborhoods, and therefore have blue Israeli identity cards, allowing them access to Jerusalem without going through the security check that most West Bank Palestinians must undergo.
They were apprehended several weeks ago in a combined operation of the Israel Police, Border Police, IDF and the Shin Bet security agency.
The suspects were reportedly recruited by a Hamas cell operating out of Ramallah. In the course of the operation, the IDF uncovered the Ramallah cell’s bomb-making facility.
Confiscated charger device intended to be deployed at the Mamilla Mall. (photo credit: Courtesy Shin Bet)
Three additional men, apparently from the Hamas cell, were arrested in connection with the plot, which was already at an advanced stage of planning when it was foiled, according to police.
Mamilla Mall is an upscale shopping district adjacent to Jaffa Gate that is especially popular with tourists.
Lab equipment used for bomb-making confiscated by Israeli authorities in Ramallah.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces.