police car 298.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
A major terror plot was thwarted after security forces spent hours conducting car-to-car searches for a bomber over scores of kilometers of highway between Caesarea and Wadi Ara on Sunday evening.
For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here
Traffic was jammed all along the major traffic artery after almost six hours of closures and searches.
The police finally reported that they had arrested five suspects, four Palestinians and one Israeli Arab, and discovered a car carrying explosives. Police safely detonated the explosives in the car. Security concerns prevented the police from releasing any further details about the plot or the suspects.
In the early afternoon, security forces received firm intelligence that a terrorist had reached the area en route to carrying out an attack. Most of the residents of Wadi Ara are Israeli Arabs, and it adjoins the Menashe region of Samaria. Its proximity to the West Bank and demographic makeup make it relatively easy for a terrorist to infiltrate and reach nearby cities.
Police reinforced their forces along the northern stretches the Green Line, setting up checkpoints and even "hermetically" closing key roadways. At one point Route 65 - the Wadi Ara road - was closed in both directions between the Caesarea and Megiddo junctions.
Hours later, police reopened the eastbound lanes, but kept the westbound lanes closed, as well as the approaches to the Trans-Israel Highway (Route 6) that intersects the Wadi Ara road just east of Hadera. Umm el-Fahm, the largest community in Wadi Ara, was sealed off.
Security sources said that the initial intelligence report was unclear whether the would-be bomber had entered Israel with a bomb or whether he was meant to be given a bomb after crossing the Green Line.