JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel arrested a senior Hamas terrorist that was said to be responsible for the deaths of more than 70 Israelis.
In a joint Israeli army, Shin Bet and Israel Police operation, Maher U’dda was arrested late Saturday night in Ramallah, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.
U’dda, 47, has been wanted in Israel for more than a decade. He is reported to have been involved in terror activity including the twin terror attacks at Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem and at the bus stop near the Tzrifin military base in central Israel on Sept. 9, 2003.
He is a founder of Hamas in Ramallah, and formed a cell in his village of Ein-Yabrud, northeast of Ramallah in the early 1990s, when he abducted and interrogated Palestinians suspected of cooperating with Israel.
U’dda was held in a Palestinian prison for a number of months in 1998 and then released.
"U’dda’s arrest is the final stage of thwarting Hamas’ military headquarters in Ramallah, which executed various terror attacks and is responsible for the murder of more than 70 Israelis," according to an IDF statement.
The IDF credited Shin Bet intelligence information for leading to the arrest.