The bomb that tore through an empty bus in Bat Yam on Sunday fortunately failed
to hurt anyone, but security forces are now in a race against time to track down
the bombers before they attempt to strike again.
With the exception of
the November 2012 Tel Aviv bus bombing, which, like Sunday’s attack, involved a
device left on a bus rather than a suicide bomber, Israel has grown accustomed
to the absence of Palestinian terrorist atrocities on buses and
Israelis have gladly put the bad old days of the second intifada
and its many Palestinian bomb and gun attacks against unarmed Israeli civilians
But behind the scenes, the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency), and the Israel Police have been working tirelessly to ensure
that the quiet remains in place.
Nightly arrests of members of
Palestinian terror cells in the territories, arms seizures, and first-class
intelligence-gathering have helped keep the threat at bay.
Yet no shield
Security sources on Sunday confirmed that no prior warning
was received ahead of the Bat Yam bus bombing, meaning that an intensive
intelligence effort will now be under way to get hold of leads.
and air searches by police units, as well as roadblocks to scan passing
vehicles, have been mobilized.
A look back to the 2012 bus bombing, which
wounded 26 passengers, indicates that the chances of the attacker acting alone
are slim to none.
That investigation revealed that the bomber behind last
year’s attack, Muhammed Nasser Mfajra, 19, who detonated the explosive remotely,
is a Palestinian from Beit Likya who received Israeli citizenship via the Family
Unification Law. He was part of a three-man terror cell, consisting of Hamas and
Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank, who systematically collected
intelligence, produced the bomb and recruited Mfajra for the attack.
no time have Hamas and Islamic Jihad stopped trying to pull off attacks in the
heart of Israel.