En selvmordsbomber som skulle ramme buss-sentralen i Tel Aviv ble i siste øyeblikk pågrepet av israelsk politi onsdag. Islamsk Jihad påtok seg ansvaret.
A MAJOR terrorist attack in Tel Aviv was foiled yesterday when security forces captured a would-be suicide bomber who planned to attack the main bus station.
The 24-year-old Palestinian was seized in an apartment in the suburb of Bat Yam shortly after a tip was received by the Shin Bet security service that a bomber with a large amount of explosives had left the West Bank for Israel that morning.
The suspect led police to a garbage bin in the nearby town of Rishon le Zion, where he had hidden the explosives.
Several Palestinians living in the apartment were detained but it was unclear whether they were accomplices.
Police said the bomber planned to attack Tel Aviv’s main bus station.
It was unclear why he did not head for his target immediately. One possibility is that he was waiting for the evening rush hour.
During the intensive manhunt, roadblocks were thrown up in theTel Aviv area, causing major traffic jams. As helicopters patrolled overhead, police conducted spot checks of vehicles and searched back yards.
The search focused on Bat Yam after the Shin Bet received additional information.
«A major disaster has been averted,» Tel Aviv police commander David Tzur said.
Islamic Jihad issued a statement in Damascus claiming responsibility for the planned attack. Hours later security forces tracked down and killed in the West Bank city of Jenin the Islamic Jihad operative, Aboud Abu Rahum, whom they said had dispatched the bomber.
Unlike Hamas and other militant Palestinian organisations, Islamic Jihad is not party to a truce with Israel and refuses to take part in the unity government agreed upon this month in Mecca by leaders of Hamas and Fatah.