JERUSALEM, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Officials on Monday revealed the arrest of members of a large Hamas cell operating in the Ramallah area.
The combined Israeli army, police and Shin Bet security agency operation netted at least 30 members of the group, according to details announced after a court-ordered gag order was lifted.
The cell was attempting to renew operations and establish field headquarters in the region, north of Jerusalem, despite the putative control by the rival Palestinian National Authority (PNA) over the West Bank.
Israeli security sources have long warned that the Islamist group, which wrested control over the Gaza Strip from Fatah in a bloody coup in 2007, was setting its sights on the region, which is led by PNA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The group, led by Murad abu Baha, was trying to set up cells among students attending West Bank colleges, as well as raise funds locally, Israel Radio said.
Among those arrested were the organization's regional chief, Mahmad Hassan Abed Allah Dahla, and regional Hamas financier Maher Ayoub Abd al-Jalil Delasha, Israel National News said.
The group was in connection with Hamas' leadership abroad, according to the Ynet news site.