Jerusalem – Immediately after the Feb. 4 Palestinian terror attack in Dimona, Israeli intelligence made a concerted effort, in Hebron, to discover and dislodge those in Hamas who were responsible. The attack killed one woman and injured 11 others.

On Sunday, Israeli intelligence chalked up a success. Israel Defense Forces’ troops killed Shihab Natshe, 25, who built the bombs used in the Dimona attack. Intelligence sources indicate he also planned additional terror attacks against Israel.

In the past few months, the IDF and Israeli intelligence have arrested numerous terrorists who allegedly belong to the Hebron terrorist cell, which security officials say “came back to life.” These arrests helped provide the information about Mr. Natshe.

Israel Special Israel Police forces, along with other IDF forces, entered Hebron in the course of the night and surrounded a house belonging to Wael Bitar, a Hamas terrorist who spent a number of years in prison. Mr. Natshe was believed to be staying in Mr. Bitar’s house.

Israeli troops called on the wanted man to give himself up. He refused to comply and, instead, opened fire and threw a bomb. Israeli troops exchanged fire with him, then called on him again to give himself up.

Then an IDF bulldozer hit the building, and Mr. Natshe still refused to come out. The troops then fired a number of rockets, which produced a series of explosions. Sappers, who subsequently inspected the scene, found that Mr. Natshe had had a number of bombs with him that had caused the series of explosions in the house.

“The powerful explosions severely damaged his body, which made it difficult to identify him,” said one security official. “From the security establishment’s point of view he was a ticking bomb, and that’s why we operated against him.”

Mr. Natshe, who was known among the Palestinians as the “bomb engineer,” recruited two bombers and supplied them with their explosive belts.

Hamas yesterday threatened swift and painful revenge for Mr. Natshe’s death. “We’ll respond with the sword and not with words,” read the Hamas statement.

David Bedein can be reached at His Web site is

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.