Israeli Army and security services, Shin Bet, recently set up a special joint investigation team in an effort to capture the Hamas group claimed responsibility for the killing of six Israelis in the West Bank city of Hebron over the past six months.
This relatively rare measure, of a joint investigation team between the two devices, was taken due to the difficulties they have had in tracking down the resistance fighters.
This group claimed responsibility for three attacks along West Bank roads; the killing of two Israeli youth at a hitchhiking stop outside the settlement of Beit Hagai near Hebron; the killing of two Israeli women and a youth at a hitchhiking stop in Gush Etzion; and the killing of another Israeli settler from the Illegal settlement outpost of Beit Hagai 10 days ago.
The three shooting attacks followed the same pattern – firing from a moving car at a relatively exposed target after which the resistance men scudded to flee the scene leaving no proof behind.
Israeli Intelligence officials believe that this group is comprised of Hamas members who live in Hebron or a nearby village.
According to the Israeli officials the group appears to maintain a maximum degree of compartmentalization.
Moreover, Hamas ordinarily refrains from claiming responsibility for the attacks, while Fateh and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.
Unlike a suicide bombings, which necessitate the involvement of a relatively long chain of people (bomber, recruiter, bomb maker, driver, "operations officer" and accessories), shooting attacks only require a small number of participants.
The fact that the cell in question is small makes it harder to expose.
Furthermore, Israeli intelligence has for years had trouble infiltrating the compartmentalized networks of the Islamic organizations in Hebron, among other reasons because they are frequently built on a clan basis, with members often drawn from a single family.
The new joint team is meant to facilitate the development of new methods of operating.