Scene of exploded bus in Jerusalem, April 18, 2016.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Security arrested a Hamas operative who planned a number of terrorist attacks in the Jerusalem area, including a suicide bombing on a bus in the capital’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, authorities announced on Tuesday morning.
The investigation of Muhammad Fuaz Ibrahim Julani revealed that he had discussed a number of attacks with his handlers, including a shooting at the Hizme checkpoint, a bombing at a store in Jerusalem he had formerly worked at, and bombing attacks at high-profile sites in Jerusalem that would cause mass casualties, such as the central bus station and the Malha Mall.
Such high profile targets were ruled out because of their heavy security presence and the Hamas terrorist settled on the Pisgat Ze’ev bus bombing, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said.
Julani was instructed to gather the materials necessary to construct the bomb for the attack, many of which he turned over to investigators after his arrest.
He began to construct the device, carrying out explosive experiments until he was eventually caught by his parents.
However, even after this point, he continued in his efforts to build a bomb, traveling to Hebron to purchase additional materials, the Shin Bet said.
Julani and his handlers decided that the attack would be carried out after the Eid al-Adha in mid-September, in order not to disrupt Muslim worshipers from going to Temple Mount.
Julani was given some NIS 7,000 for the cost of the Hebron operation and he filmed a “last will and testament” to be distributed after the attack.
He was arrested before he could carry out the attack, after which he turned in two of his family members who had helped him hide weapons from authorities during his arrest.
It was not the first time that Julani had planned to carry out a terrorist attack. He reportedly told his interrogators that he had planned a stabbing attack in Pisgat Ze’ev a year earlier, but had relented at the last minute for fear authorities would destroy his parents’ home.
The Shin Bet said that the plot bears witness to Hamas’s unceasing efforts to initiate terrorist attacks in Israel and the West Bank by enlisting operatives who are residents of Israel like Julani.
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