Israel's red faces over Hamas
Saturday 12 April 1997
The revelation comes after Israel arrested a six-member cell of Islamic militants in the village Surif, north of Hebron, who allegedly killed 11 Israelis and wounded 49 over the past 18 months.
Ahmed Rahman Ismael Rahman Ranimat, 25, the leader of the cell, led Israeli troops to the grave of Sergeant Sharon Edri, an Israeli soldier, shot dead last year when he got into a car driven by members of the group. The discovery of his body is causing embarrassment to the Israeli police who at one stage said they believed that Sgt Edri had disappeared for personal reasons.
The arrest of alleged members of the cell, which formed part of the military wing of Hamas, is also causing some embarrassment to the Israeli security forces.
They had believed the rash of attacks in the area was being carried out by the so-called "Halhoul Cell" of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian, a militant but secular organisation in a neighbouring town.
The break-up of the cell appears to have come partly as the result of co-operation with the Palestinian Preventive Security after pressure from the United States on Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, to resume security co-operation with Israel.
Yitzhak Mordechai, the Israeli Defence Minister, said: "We are talking about a murderous cell, which killed five Israelis in the region of Gefen Tirosh, three Israelis in the Tel Aviv coffee house, two soldiers along the Hebron-Jerusalem road and also kidnapped and murdered Sharon Edri in cold blood."
The discovery of the cell somewhat deflates the theory of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, that Mr Arafat gave "a green light" for the Tel Aviv attack, since the Surif group appears to have attacked whenever an opportunity offered. Mousa Ranimat, one of the Ranimat clan, which is powerful in Surif, accidentally blew himself up in the Apropo coffee house in Tel Aviv three weeks ago.
The cell, which started to operate at the end of 1995, did not find it difficult to kill Israelis. Their method of operation shows the impossibility of full protection against such attacks.
All of the cell members looked like Israelis, spoke Hebrew because they had worked in Israel and, for the same reason, knew their way around.
They had a car with yellow Israeli licence plates, so they could operate easily within Israel. All were in their twenties and most had been arrested for Hamas activities.
Two of the six cell members were arrested within areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, after the CIA put pressure on Mr Arafat. Despite the obsessive focus on security in Israel, actual security measures are frequently slack. Israeli soldiers often hitchhike to or from their bases. All the Hamas group had to do to get Sgt Edri, who was buried yesterday, into their car, was to offer him a lift. When he became suspicious they shot him.
Mr Arafat will want Israel to pay a price for the resumption of limited security co-operation.
Ze'ev Schiff, a security specialist on the daily Ha'aretz, says the Palestinian leader is saying to the US that he is willing to act against Hamas but that "now Israel has to do its part by halting the construction of Har Homa and the expansion of the settlements".
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 2 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...
£400 - £420 per day: Langley James : IT Project Manager; 6 month FTC; Brighton...
£25000 per annum + training: Langley James : Web Developer; PHP, MySQL, Java; ...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...