6 April 2002
Yesterday's Strike on a Terror Squad in Tubas
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
In a preemptive action of IDF security forces operating in the
village of Tubas, located in the northern West Bank, a Hamas terror
squad belonging to the Izzadin Al Qassam Brigade was intercepted.
Leading this squad was the most senior operative active today in the
area, Qais Adwan.
1. Kais Adwan, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp, was born in
1977 and has been a senior military operative of Hamas and among the
commanding leaders of the Izzadin Al Qassam Brigade in the Jenin
area. In the past, he was a student at A'Najah University, an
institution well known as a "training ground" for prominent terrorist
leaders. In this capacity, Adwan served as head of the Islamic
Students Association, linked with the Hamas movement. Adwan was
wanted in Israel in recent years in connection with his involvement
in the planning, recuritment and execution of a number of the more
deadly suicide attacks in Israel. Adwan is among the senior military
operatives of the Izzadin Al Qassam Brigade - the military arm of the
Hamas in the northern West Bank.
Recently he took part, together with other Hamas operatives from
other regions, in planning the suicide attack on the Park Hotel in
Netanya which claimed the lives of 26 Israelis. It was also Adwan who
recruited the suicide bomber and oversaw the execution of the attack
on the Matzah restaurant in Haifa in which 16 Israelis were killed
and dozens injured.
Other attacks for which Adwan was responsible or in which he took an
active role include:
- The deadly attack at Mei Ami in which Zayid Qilaani shot at an
explosive charge in his possession, blowing up the Israeli taxi in
which he and others were sitting. The result was one Israeli fatality
and others wounded.
- The suicide bombing at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in August
2001 in which Adwan was directly responsible for the recruiting and
dispatching of the suicide bomber. 15 people lost their lives in this
bombing and dozens were injured.
- Adwan was responsible for the recruiting of Shakr Habishi from the
Israeli Arab village of Abu Snaan and sending him to bomb the railway
station in the northern town of Nahariya in September 2001 in which 3
were killed and dozens were injured.
- Adwan was involved in the suicide attack on a bus in the city of
Haifa in December 2001 in which 16 were killed and dozens were
- During February 2002, Issan Abu Samda, a Hamas operative from a
village next to Jenin, was detained in the vicinity of Ramallah. When
questioned, he reported having been recruited by Kais Adwan in order
to execute a suicide attack in the Jerusalem area. Abu Samda was
detained at a check-post on his way to commit this attack.
- In the interrogation of Salim Haja, a senior Hamas operative
arrested in recent days by the IDF in Ramallah, he confessed to his
collaboration with Adwan which included: the production of explosive
charges, the dispatching of suicide bombers on suicide attacks, and
the recruitment of activists for terror activity.
- Over the past few days, Adwan worked together with other terrorists
carrying out additional attacks assuming different forms: suicide,
laying explosive charges, launching Qassam rockets and more. Adwan is
considered among the "engineers" of Hamas, those specializing in the
preparation of explosives. He had been, for all purposes, a supreme
authority within the Hamas military structure in the Jenin area and
worked in tandem with Hamas military activists from all the other
regions. He played a prominent role in the building of the "Qassam"
rocket and in disseminating throughout the West Bank the knowledge
required for its production.
In addition to Kais Adwan, the squad was comprised of five other
1. Asraf Tamza Hamza Dragma, a resident of the village of Tubas
(under the security control of the Palestinian Authority), was born
Tamza is a chief Hamas member who headed a Hamas military squad in
the village. He was arrested three times; his last arrest took place
during the years 1995-1998 due to his activity in Hamas and the
kidnapping of suspected collaborators. He was recently detained by
the Palestinian Authority but he continued his hostile terrorist
activities even during his arrest.
Asraf is directly responsible for the terrorist shooting attack of
March 3, 2002 in the exercise zone of Hamam El-Maliach base in the
Jordan Valley which led to the killing of an Israeli soldier and the
injury of three others; he is also responsible for several shooting
attacks and bombings in the area. Asraf was associated with senior
Hamas activists in that zone; he was responsible for the distribution
of fighting equipment, and headed a military Hamas group which
gathered information regarding IDF forces and civilians and planned
additional terrorist attacks which would have taken place during
2. Sa'ad Hassin Ahmad Awad - born in 1977 in Rafiah, a Hamas
operative who has been living in Tulkarm and recently in the Balata
refugee camp in Nablus. He was imprisoned in Israel between the years
1995 and 1998 and admitted during his investigation his involvement
in Hamas military activity which included shooting attacks. He was
imprisoned in Ganid Prison from September 1999, and was released
before the beginning of the intifada. From November 2001, the Hamas
terrorist infrastructure from the Gaza Strip provided Sa'ad with
knowledge regarding the production of Qassam Rockets. Sa'ad used the
knowledge he acquired regarding the manufacturing of Qassam rockets
and joined senior activists from the northern West Bank belonging to
the Hamas and the Tanzim for the manufacturing of the rockets in
order to launch them towards Israeli targets.
For instance, Sa'ad took part in the manufacturing of Qassam rockets
which were seized this February by IDF forces while being transported
to Jenin. Sa'ad has recently collaborated with a Hamas military
terrorist infrastructure in Jenin which was responsible for many
deadly attacks in Israel, including the attack on the Matza
restaurant in Haifa. In addition to manufacturing explosive charges
and Qassam rockets, Sa'ad recruited activists for the Hamas
infrastructure and took part in a few shooting terrorist attacks in
the northern West Bank.
3. Magdi Muhammad Hussein Blasme - born in 1976 in the village of
Dir Saraf, a Fatah military operative. Blasme was a member of a group
of terrorists who belong to various organizations, which is
responsible for several shooting attacks and explosive charges in the
territories during the al-Aksa intifada. After Sa'ad Awad joined this
group in October 2001, Magdi became his chief deputy in manufacturing
Qassam rockets, a task from which both of them had acquired
information that originated in the Gaza Strip. Blasme worked with
senior members of both the Hamas and in the Tanzim and also planned
to carry out deadly terrorist attacks in Israel.
4. Muhammad Ahmed Taufik Qamil - born in 1974, a resident of
Kabatiya and a Hamas military operative in his region who has
recently cooperated with senior Hamas operatives in Jenin, Kais Adwan
and Naser Grar. Qamil had been arrested in Israel a few times in the
past due to his activity in the Hamas. He was recently involved in
the preparation of explosive charges in a terrorist lab in the Jenin
area; he aided wanted suspects such as Kais Adwan, the latter having
performed brutal terrorist attacks on Israel such as the attack on
the Matza restaurant in Haifa which claimed the lives of 16 Israelis,
as well as an attempt to bring a vehicle rigged with explosives and
the shooting attack in Hamam El-Maliach in which an IDF officer was
killed and others were injured. During the past few days he
cooperated with the wanted Hamas suspects in order to perform
additional terrorist attacks.
5. Munkaz Muhammad Sa'id Soafta - a resident of the village of
Tubbas, born in 1973. Soafta was a Hamas member and assisted wanted
military suspects. Soafta's assistance included providing shelter to
the five wanted Hamas members at his home in Tubas.