Jordan-based Hamas commanders ordered suicide bombings, Israel claims
Jordan-Israel, Politics, 4/10/1998
Relations between Jordan and Israel may go through another tight era following Israeli accusations that Hamas military command operating in Jordan was responsible for the series of suicide bombing attacks that wracked Israel last year.
The accusation was made in the indictment papers the military prosecutor submitted to the Israeli military court against three alleged members of Hamas whom Israel charged with involvement in the bombings.
Amer Abdul Rahman Al Zoboun, Mu'aath Said and Ayman Halawe, all from Nablus, were charged and had allegedly received instructions from the Amman-based Hamas command to carry out the two suicide bombings in Mahane Yehuda market and Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall last year. Undercover Shin Bet agents arrested the three some three months ago.
The indictment papers claimed the two Hamas commanders in Jordan who issued the orders were nicknamed Abu Hamzeh and Abu Ahmed. They allegedly sent their orders to the cell members by messengers and by fax. Furthermore, the sheet said Hamas' top bomb maker, Mohyiddin Sharif, trained two of the cell members to prepare explosives. Sharif died two weeks ago in mysterious circumstances.
Zoboun, 23, was a guard at Nablus prison when he helped the cell's commander, Mahmoud Abu Honoud, escape from prison at the end of 1996. He was later enlisted into the ranks of the Hamas cell and became its operations officer. Zoboun allegedly planned and selected the "suitable" sites for the bombings and served as the facilitator between the cell and the headquarters in Amman.
A few months after the bombings, he visited Hamas headquarters in Jordan and gave a full report on the two attacks. It was in that visit that Zoboun, according to the indictment sheet, received instructions to carry out two more suicide bombings to avenge the attempt on the life of Khaled Mishal, head of the Hamas political bureau in Jordan. But the arrest of the two cell members thwarted the planned attacks. Abu Honoud, the cell commander, is still at large and is wanted both by Israel and the Palestinian government.
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