JERUSALEM  - Israel has broken a network of Hamas cells in the West Bank and arrested two men suspected of involvement in the lynching of two soldiers in Ramallah in 2000, the internal security agency said. A statement said that “during Jun 2012, the Shin Bet, exposed a wide infrastructure of Hamas active in Ramallah in the region. “Among the activists arrested and interrogated by the Shin Bet were two, who admitted involvement in the lynching that took place on Oct 12, 2000 at the Palestinian police station,” the statement said.

Shortly after the second intifada broke out, Palestinians caught and lynched two Israeli reserve soldiers who mistakenly entered the West Bank city. The Shin Bet named the two suspects as Marwan Maadi, 51, and Yasser Hatab, 40. Both are residents of Jafna, a village near Ramallah, and said the two have been charged in a military court with “intentionally causing death.” The killings of reservists Vadim Norzitch and Yossi Avrahami after they ran into an enraged Palestinian crowd infuriated the Israeli public. Scenes of the lynching captured by an Italian television crew showed a crowd storming the police station where the men were being held, apparently for their own safety, after being arrested. They were later shown hacking at one of the soldiers who was thrown out of an upstairs window, apparently already dead from a beating he received inside the station.