Palestinian planned mass bombing, shooting attack in Tel Aviv, arrested in Jaffa

Israeli security forces received intelligence that a suspect who aided the terrorist was on the run in the West Bank.

 Scene where a Palestinian was found with explosives and a gun in Jaffa, September 8, 2022 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Scene where a Palestinian was found with explosives and a gun in Jaffa, September 8, 2022
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

A Palestinian was caught by the Special Patrol Unit (Yasam) of Israel Police carrying two pipe bombs and a submachine gun at the Clock Tower in Jaffa on Thursday afternoon.

The suspect was in Israel illegally and was arrested and transferred for questioning.

The Yasam officers stopped the suspect after he raised their suspicions. Later in the evening, security forces set up checkpoints around Ariel after receiving intelligence on the escape of a suspect who aided the attempted terrorist.

Police chief Kobi Shabtai headed to the scene of the incident on Thursday afternoon.

The suspect is reportedly from Nablus and was arrested earlier this year after he was caught carrying a knife near the Temple Mount. He has reportedly confessed to police that he planned to carry out a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.

 Gun carried by Palestinian in Jaffa, September 8, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE) Gun carried by Palestinian in Jaffa, September 8, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid responded to the capture of the attempted terrorist, saying "The State of Israel will act harshly and uncompromisingly against those who try to harm us."

"We must continue to act with all tools in order to restore security stability to the region."

Earlier in the day, Lapid held a situation assessment with the defense establishment at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv due to the recent spike in terrorist attacks.

Lapid met with Mohavao Mengisto and Sharif Hasson, the police officers who arrested the terrorist, on Thursday night, stating "The entire State of Israel thanks you for your bravery. You saved many human lives. I don't want to think what would have happened if you weren't in the area. Thanks to the activity of the Israeli police and security forces, Israeli citizens can sleep safely. I'm proud of you."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz stressed that the defense establishment would "increase targeted operations against terrorism in Judea and Samaria and everywhere."

"Just in the last week, several attempts to harm Israeli citizens from the Judea and Samaria sector were prevented. We will continue and increase the targeted activity against terrorism in Judea and Samaria and everywhere - at the junctions, along the seam line, and in the depth of the field as much as is required."

"We will deploy additional forces and means, strengthen the cooperation between the security organizations, speed up the construction of the seam barrier," added Gantz. "Our message to our enemy and to the world is simple: wherever there is terrorism that is not dealt with - we will deal with it."

Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev welcomed the capture of the attempted terrorist on Thursday evening, saying "The capture of the illegal resident who was in possession of a gun and pipe bomb, today in Jaffa, by Yasam officers from the Tel Aviv district, prevented a major attack and testifies to the determination, operational experience, vigilance and pursuit of contact by the police officers, and they deserve all the praise for that."

"It has been proven once again that the policemen of Israel Police stand at the forefront of the fight against Palestinian terrorism, and with their bodies stand between the terrorists and the citizens of Israel."

Spike in attempted terrorist operations in recent weeks

The incident comes after a Palestinian terrorist attacked an IDF soldier with a hammer near the village of Baytin, north of Ramallah, overnight. The soldier shot and killed the terrorist, who was found to also have been carrying a knife.

IDF soldiers, Shin Bet and Border Police officers arrested 11 terrorism suspects overnight in the West Bank as part of Operation Break the Wave, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit. Armed clashes broke out during some of the arrests.