According to IDF spokesman, last night, in a joint operation between the IDF, the ISA, and a special police force, Mohammed Mastafa Mahmoud Harouish and Tisir Kamal Samara were arrested in Tul Karem. Samara, a Hamas militant, was released just a year ago from a prison sentence in Israel, where he was jailed for his involvement in the forming of Harouish's terror cells.
Harouish was born in 1983, and is the head of the military branch of Hamas in Tul-Karem. Samara was born in 1984, and served as Harouish's assistant.
Harouish has been wanted since 2004 for his involvement in Hamas terrorist activity, which was a foundation for the suicide bombing in Netanya during Passover of 2002.
From as early as 2003, it is known that Harouish has been actively involved in Hamas in the Samaria region.
In March 2004, Harouish was wounded by IDF fire and Hamas militants evacuated him for medical treatment in Ramallah, from where he continued his involvement. At this time he was involved in the planning of a thwarted suicide terror attack in Israel. Harouish was arrested by the Palestinian security forces and transferred to the Palestinian Authority's prison in Jericho.
After being released from prison in 2006, Harouish returned to Tul-Karem. He then became one of the commanders of Hamas' military branch in the city, and chief assistant to Omar Jabber, the head of Hamas infrastructure. Harouish recruited militants, formed terror cells, and purchased weaponry. These cells were to commit terror attacks against IDF forces as well as of the Palestinian security forces.
This plan was thwarted as a result of many arrests throughout the Hamas infrastructure, starting in May 2007, culminating with the arrest of Omar Jabber in March 2008.
After the arrest of Jabber, Harouish has remained the top wanted official in the area.
Harouish and Samara were transferred for questioning by security forces.
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