Israeli security officials on Sunday released for publication details of the recent arrest of two Arab residents of Jerusalem who plotted to fire a missile into the capital’s crowded soccer stadium during a game.
One of the men is a resident of the Beit Safafa neighborhood in southeastern Jerusalem, which sits just on the southern end of Teddy Stadium in the adjacent Malha neighborhood.
Police said that following Israel’s anti-terror offensive into the Gaza Strip in December 2008-January 2009, the two decided to carry out a major terrorist attack in Jerusalem. The scouted the hills in Beit Safafa to find a suitable launching point to fire a missile into the nearby stadium.
After some months, the two apparently decided it would be too difficult to pull off the stadium attack, so looked for other ways to practice terrorism in Jerusalem. One of the men reported visited Saudi Arabia a number of times where he met with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The terror groups gave the men money to buy small arms and explosives, but they were arrested before they would carry out an attack.
Police officials said that during the investigation they discovered a growing Hamas presence among the Arab residents of Jerusalem.