Authorities nab terror cell from Hevron

Using homemade guns, two Hevron brothers carried out a series of shooting attacks in late 2015 that left a number of IDF soldiers wounded, the Shin Bet said Monday, when news of their arrest was cleared for publication.

The brothers – named by the Shin Bet as Nasser Badwi, 23, and Akram Badwi, 33 from the Abu Sanina neighborhood of Hevron, carried out a number of terror attacks including the shooting of worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs on November 6th that left two people lightly to moderately wounded.

According to the Shin Bet, the brothers – both Hamas members – used a homemade sniper rifle that they kept stashed in a Hevron mosque to carry out the attacks. They would usually climb to the third floor of a building owned by their father, which was undergoing renovations, and use it as a perch to fire at soldiers and Israeli civilians.

In addition to the sniper rifle, they also handed over to investigators a homemade submachine gun and a silencer made from an oil filter, which they learned to construct after watching a video online, the Shin Bet said.

After the shooting of the worshipers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs on November, both brothers left the scene to attend the wedding of a cousin that same night. They reportedly told investigators that they were inspired by a ramming attack carried out by an Arab terrorist earlier the same day in Hevron.

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In a separate attack, on November 25th, Nasser opened fire from the same building at a number of soldiers parked at the Tomb of the Patriarch, but only managed to hit a parked car. They later began using a firing location in an industrial zone in south Hevron, where they were able to fire on an IDF checkpoint in the city. In most cases the soldiers did not hear or notice that shots had been fired, the Shin Bet said.

In a shooting on January 3rd, Nasser says soldiers grouping next to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and told Akram to hurry to the building and shoot at the troops. Akram opened fire at the soldiers, wounding one moderately to seriously, the Shin Bet said. From there they went to a nearby quarry, which they used as cover to shoot at an IDF checkpoint, and managed to lightly wound one soldier.

Nasser was finally arrested on January 9th, and a week later Akram tried to carry out another shooting attack in a failed attempt to make investigators think that his brother was not the Hevron sniper.

Akram himself was arrested not long after.