New head of Hamas terror operations in West Bank revealed

Maher Obeid replaces Saleh al-Arouri, who was made deputy Hamas leader, as the head of Hamas's 'West Bank Headquarters,' responsible for establishing terror infrastructure and orchestrating attacks.

Saleh al-Arouri, who was appointed in October as the deputy Hamas leader, was replaced in his role as Hamas's "military commander in the West Bank" by Maher Obeid, sources in the Palestinian security forces revealed to Ynet on Wednesday.

In response to the publication, Obeid denied the appointment, calling it "an honor that I do not deserve" and asserting that the report is "a lie."

Obeid further claimed that the goal of attributing him with the position was to drive a wedge between the Palestinians and even hinted that the publication was intended to justify his assassination by Israel.

Maher Obeid
Maher Obeid

The Jordan-born Obeid, 59, a close associate of his predecessor Arouri, is now responsible for orchestrating terror attacks in and from the West Bank. Like Arouri, Obeid also has good ties with the regime in Tehran and he has visited Iran on several occassions in recent years as part of official Hamas delegations.

Obeid was among the 400 Hamas officials expelled by Israel to Lebanon in 1992, and has been a member of the Hamas leadership since 2010.

Over the years, he was arrested several times by Israel security forces and put under administrative detention in some of the cases. He currently operates from abroad, possibly from Lebanon.

Obeid now heads Hamas's "West Bank Headquarters." According to a Palestinian security source, the West Bank Headquarters divides the area to three different sectors: the southern West Bank, the central West Bank and the northern West Bank.

Operations in each sector are led by a Hamas commander who hails from that sector and rose in the Hamas military ranks there.

The commander of the southern West Bank sector (Hebron and Bethlehem area) is Abd al-Rahman Ghanimat, who in the past led the Hamas's Surif cell, which was responsible for several of the more serious terror attacks in Israel, including the 1997 Caf? Apropo bombing....

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