Three former Palestinians whose families collaborated with Israel were indicted at the Haifa District Court on Thursday on charges of preparing explosive devices and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Anan Agbari, 22, Ines Shatiya, 23, and Abdullah Abu Samra, 20, all residents of Haifa, allegedly intended to carry out a so-called family honor killing.
Originally, it was suspected that the suspects had planned to use the pipe bombs they had manufactured to carry out a terrorist attack.
They were arrested last week at their homes in Haifa's Hadar district, but the case was subject to a court-imposed publicity ban that was only lifted on Thursday when the three were indicted.
Dep.-Cmdr. Benni Abalia, head of the Haifa station Criminal Investigations Department, said the matter came to light after a fire in the stairwell of the building where the suspects lived.
"Police went to the scene and found that the fire had been caused by a fuse, connected to a home-made pipe bomb, that had been set alight," Abalia told The Jerusalem Post.
"The suspects had been in the process of trying out one of the bombs, but they stamped out the burning fuse at the last minute when they realized that the resulting explosion could bring down the building," he said.
Subsequent searches of the building revealed three more pipe bombs ready for use. The devices were neutralized by police sappers.
The suspects, one of whom himself collaborated with Israel and the other two the sons of collaborators, were relocated with their families from the territories and had been living in Haifa for some time.
"Initially, there was a suspicion that the suspects may have reneged on their former cooperation with Israel and that the incident could be a security matter," said Abalia.
"However, they made the bombs in order to [carry out a] hit on a Haifa resident after he broke off his engagement to the sister of one of the suspects.
"They had intended to plant the bombs under the man's car or at his home and innocent people could well have been harmed, as well as their target. Fortunately, the matter came to light beforehand," said Abalia.