Israeli authorities have arrested members of an alleged Hamas cell who are suspected of plotting an assassination attempt on Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Four Palestinians were arrested over plans to attack the minister's car with an anti-tank missile as he drove to his Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.
The assassination plot was apparently made during the summer conflict in Gaza between Palestinians militants and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Israel's Shin Bet security agency issued a statement which said that three of those arrested were members of Hamas and said that they had confessed to the plot under interrogation.
The suspects had believed that killing Lieberman "would relay a message to the State of Israel that would bring about an end to the Gaza war", according to Shin Bet.
The statement added that the suspects had planned to purchase an rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher and attack the minister's vehicle after obtaining information about the minister's travel plans and his security arrangements.
All four suspects live near the Nokdim settlement, where Israel's top diplomat has a home. The Israeli security service said that the plot showed that Hamas was increasing its presence and activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Hamas is yet to respond to the allegations but they come at a time when relations with its partner in the Palestinian unity government, the Palestinian Authority, are fractured.
The four militants have been indicted by a West Bank military court with conspiracy to cause bodily harm and conspiracy to trade in armaments, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.