IDF nablus 224.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
A suicide bombing in Jerusalem was thwarted on Monday after IDF troops, acting on precise Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intelligence, nabbed two Palestinians on their way from Nablus to perpetrate the attack.
Two weeks ago, the Shin Bet received intelligence information warning of plans by Palestinians in Nablus - deemed a "terror capital" by Israel - to carry out a suicide attack in an Israeli city.
Troops from the Haruv Battalion stationed near the West Bank city were put on high alert. On Monday at 2 a.m. they spotted two suspicious-looking Palestinians carrying a bag and walking on a seldom-used dirt path south of Nablus. In the ensuing three-kilometer chase, soldiers found a seven-kilogram explosive belt packed with nails and bolts in the bag which the suspects had flung away.
Military officers sad that one of the Palestinians was the would-be-bomber while the second suspect was his accomplice. The suspects were transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning but in their initial interrogation by the troops they admitted to planning a suicide attack inside an Israeli city.
Haruv Battalion commander Lt.-Col. Arik said Monday he suspected the terrorists had planned to reach Jerusalem where a possible target might have been an afternoon gathering of some 60,000 children at the city's Independence Park.
"We can't say for sure where they were going but it seems like Jerusalem and there might even be a connection to the large youth gathering there," he said.
Arik said that Israeli pressure had resulted in cooperation among all the Nablus-based terror organizations, including Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), in attempting to perpetrate anti-Israel attacks. The IDF pressure on the terrorist groups forces them to pool their resources due to a lack of weapons and manpower within each individual group, he said.
Meanwhile Monday, troops shot and killed an armed Palestinian spotted near the Gaza Strip security fence. The army said soldiers identified three men near the fence and fired at them, suspecting they intended to carry out an attack.
The Popular Resistance Committees, a Palestinian terror group, identified the dead man as Abdel Moati Shukri.