The terrorist behind the deadly Be’er Sheva Central Bus Station shooting and stabbing last Sunday night was in contact with the Hamas terror organization prior to the attack.
Police uncovered a lengthy correspondence between Muhaned Al-Okabi and Hamas, in which the former expressed great interest in conducting terror attacks.
Photos of Hamas terrorists, weapons and other materials were also found on Al-Okabi’s mobile phone.
Al-Okabi, 21, an Israeli Arab from the Bedouin town of Hura in the Negev, carried out the Be’er Sheva attack armed with a pistol and a knife.
An IDF soldier was killed in the attack and nine others wounded when Al-Okabi shot 19-year-old Omri Levy, grabbed his automatic weapon and opened fire on a group of police standing in the station.
Al-Okabi apparently followed Levy from his entrance into the bus station to the platforms and finally into the bathroom, where he murdered the soldier and stole his weapon.
The terrorist was himself shot dead by security forces after running out of the bathroom toward a row of dumpsters in an effort to flee.
An Eritrean migrant worker was also fatally wounded in the attack, after being mistaken for a second terrorist. Amid the chaos and the confusion, security forces reportedly shot him in the lower body, and an angry mob began to beat him – believing he was a terrorist – before being dispersed by police.
According to the new data discovered by police, the entire attack was planned in advance – in collaboration with officials from Hamas.