A 19-year-old Palestinian man caught with eight pipe bombs at the Kalandiya
checkpoint was trying to get to Jerusalem, the IDF said Tuesday.
believed to be from Nablus, got off a Palestinian bus carrying a large backpack,
and tried to sneak past security checks for pedestrians at the checkpoint, which
separates greater Jerusalem from the West Bank.
Lt.-Col. Yuval Shenkin,
commander of the Military Police’s Erez Battalion, which controls crossings in
the area, said the incident was highly unusual. “To try to get this amount of
explosives through is certainly exceptional,” Shenkin said.
gotten past Kalandiya, he’d be in Jerusalem,” he added.
After getting off
the bus, the man walked around the pedestrian route, arousing soldiers’
The soldiers told him to go back to the pedestrian line and
undergo security checks.
At that point, the man became even more
suspicious, Shenkin added. “He said he was confused, and that he wanted to go
back to the West Bank. At this stage, the soldiers understood something was
going on. They placed his backpack through X-ray screening, and found eight pipe
bombs,” Shenkin said.
IDF sappers were called to the scene to deal with
As soon as it became clear that the man was a security
suspect, he was isolated in the bomb-proof terminal and separated from his
backpack, Shenkin stressed. The suspect was transferred to the Israel Police for
Shenkin praised the alertness of soldiers for seizing the
bombs. “They begin their shift at four a.m. Fifteen thousand Palestinians and
thousands of vehicles pass through Kalandiya to go to Jerusalem. They prevented
the bombs from getting through,” the commander said.