Palestinian teen arrested for allegedly attempting knife attack on Jerusalem light rail

Police and security guards continue heightened security throughout capital and rail route following July’s failed suicide bombing.

August 4, 2016 18:51
2 minute read.
Jerusalem light rail

Jerusalem light rail. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Two weeks after alert security guards prevented a West Bank Palestinian civil- engineering student from detonating three pipe bombs packed with nails and rat poison on the Jerusalem Light Rail, guards thwarted another attack on Thursday morning.

“A 17-year-old illegal Palestinian worker made his way into Jerusalem and was spotted acting suspiciously by security guards near the light rail stop at Mount Herzl,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

“He was immediately approached by security personnel guarding the area, who questioned him. [The suspect] was found to be in possession of a knife, and indicated that he intended to board the tram to carry out an attack.”

It remains unclear where the suspect resides, Rosenfeld said.

The unidentified teen was promptly arrested and transferred to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court for his arraignment, he said, noting that police and security guards are maintaining a heightened alert throughout the capital, with an emphasis on the Old City and public transportation routes.

“We’ve heightened patrols at the Central Bus Station and all public areas, including the Old City, and the entire light-rail route, as part of consistent security measures taking place,” said Rosenfeld.

“Special patrol and undercover units have made security assessments, emphasizing safety in all areas. We’ve also mapped out different locations, including Damascus and Jaffa Gates and bus routes, where increased security measures have been implemented.”

Moreover, Rosenfeld cited newly installed concrete barriers at several bus stops in the capital to prevent car-ramming attacks by terrorists.

“Standard security measures will continue to be implemented throughout the day as long as necessary,” he said.

“There is no concrete intelligence that we have received about any terrorist attacks planned in Jerusalem, but at the same time, the security that has been implemented is important and remains absolutely necessary.”

On the morning of July 17, Ali Abu Hassan, 21, from Beit Ila near Hebron, carried three pipe bombs in a bag to Jerusalem’s Jaffa Center light rail stop, which he intended to detonate during the rush-hour commute.

According to a joint police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigation released this week, Abu Hassan, an engineering student at Hebron University, illegally entered Jerusalem to carry out a mass-casualty bombing attack to exact revenge for Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount.

Noting the suspect’s suspicious behavior, security guards stationed nearby questioned him and discovered the bombs in his bag.

Police sappers dismantled the bombs, which they found were packed with nails and screws saturated in rat poison. They also found two knives in his bag.

Police said that Abu Hassan planned the attack for several days.

The light rail was shut down for over an hour, until the bombs were neutralized and the area cleared.

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