Israel arrests 3 Palestinians suspected of planning Jerusalem terror attack

The three detainees have been transferred to the custody of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for further questioning.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 26, 2016 08:58
3 minute read.
IDF commandos complete their training in central Israel

IDF commandos complete their training in central Israel. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

 
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Israeli security forces on Tuesday arrested three Palestinians from the West Bank town of Nablus who are suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

The three detainees have been transferred to the custody of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for further questioning.

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The arrests, which were carried out by a joint force comprising the Israel Police and the Shin Bet, were made in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber.

Two of the suspects are minors – age 15 and 16 – and the other is a 23-year-old man.

The three Palestinians were detained after the security forces obtained a tip indicating that an attack was imminent.

The authorities say that the Palestinians planned on committing a combined assault against civilians involving an explosive device as well as gunfire.

The attack was said to have been planned for the Passover holiday and was to be executed in a crowded area.

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The explosive device was slated to be provided by an unidentified co-conspirator and the weapon to be used for firing at civilians was an improvised assault rifle built in one of the Palestinian makeshift factories.

After their arrest, the three Palestinians confessed to the plot, according to security services. The suspects said that they were inspired by last week’s bombing of a bus in Jerusalem which left 19 people wounded and one person – the bomber – dead.

Poll: Most Palestinians back knifing attacks

A public opinion poll published on Monday showed that 40 percent of youths in the West Bank and 66% of those in the Gaza Strip believe that the recent wave of terrorist attacks on Israelis serves the Palestinian cause, while only 23% in the West Bank and 17% in the Gaza Strip say it harms the cause.

The poll was conducted by The Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) and covered a random sample of 1,000 Palestinians between the ages of 15-29. The poll has a margin of error of 3%.

The results showed that among 47% of Palestinian youths in the West Bank opposed knife stabbings, while 28% of youths in the Gaza Strip supported their continuation.

More than 35% of respondents in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip predicted that the violence would develop into a fully-fledged uprising, the results showed.

Palestinian youths seem to be equally split over “military operations” against Israel: 43% in favor and against.

Support among Palestinian youths for the two-state solution stands at 42%, according to the poll. Nearly 20% said they preferred a bi-national state. An overwhelming majority of 67% of respondents believe that negotiations will not succeed in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

In addition, the survey found that a majority of 63% of Palestinian youths oppose working with like-minded Israeli youths to find a solution to the conflict, while only 27% supported the idea.

A majority of 52% supported a possible resumption of negotiations with Israel in comparison to 43% who opposed it.

If elections were held now, 37% of respondents said they would vote for Mahmoud Abbas and 23% for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. If Abbas does not run, 15% of Palestinian youths said that they would vote for jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.

Haniyeh got only 14%.

The JMCC poll found that 83% of respondents had negative views about Islamic State (ISIS) in comparison to 5% who said they had a positive opinion of the terrorist group.

More than half of those polled said that ISIS is harmful to the Palestinian cause.

The poll also showed that a majority of 60% of youths relies on Facebook and Twitter as a first source of news. Only 28% said they get their news from watching television.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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