Cpl. Shani, a military policewoman who serves at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus, had cause for a double celebration on Thursday, one to mark her 20th birthday and the other for preventing two Palestinian teenagers from smuggling 12 pipe bombs through the checkpoint.
Just like every other day, Shani took up her position at the checkpoint when she spotted the two teens and became suspicious.
As they approached the checkpoint's first inspection point, she noticed that the two "were acting strangely, they both wore coats and appeared to be a bit confused," she told The Jerusalem Post.
She stopped the two and searched them, and was amazed to discover that they were each carrying six pipe bombs, prepped and ready for use. "They were hidden in the coat pockets," she said. The two were then handed over to security officials for questioning and revealed that they had intended to hand over the pipe bombs to a Palestinian waiting on the other side of the checkpoint.
Border Police sappers later blew up the bombs. Hours later, Shani prepared to go home and celebrate her birthday with the family. "I called my parents to tell them what happened. They are very concerned, but I must admit it is a good feeling to have caught the two," she said.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, firebombs were thrown at Israeli cars and a bus traveling on the road near Dir Isstiya, southeast of Kalkilya, in the afternoon. No one was wounded but damage was caused to the bus and several cars, the army said.
Shortly afterwards, a firebomb was thrown at an IDF jeep that had entered the village to search for the perpetrators. The firebomb smashed onto a nearby Palestinian car, causing the driver to lose control and overturn, injuring him lightly.
In the early morning security forces arrested 13 Palestinian fugitives affiliated with Hamas, the Fatah Tanzim, Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The arrests took place in Tulkarm, Hebron and villages near Bethlehem, Ramallah and Nablus.
Near the Gaza Strip in the afternoon, shots were fired at heavy mechanical vehicles used by the IDF for construction work near the southern Gaza security fence, south of the Sufa crossing. No one was wounded, but damage was caused to one of the vehicles.
Earlier in the day, Palestinians in northern Gaza fired three Kassam rockets at the western Negev. All the rockets fell in open areas, one south of Ashkelon and two others near Sderot.