Palestinian living in Israel drove suicide bomber to Hadera

A Palestinian man who was allowed to live in Israeli as part of the family reunification practice allegedly drove the suicide bomber and his handler to Hadera where they carried out an attack last October which killed six people. The man, identified by security sources as Fakri Mantzur, was originally from the village of Atil near Tulkarm but had moved to the Israeli Arab town of Jat. According to security sources, Mantzur knew full well his passenger was a suicide bomber and even inquired about the whereabouts of his bomb. The case came to light Thursday after a military court in Samaria charged Muhammad Kashua, 24, a resident of the village of Ilar, southwest of Jenin, with transporting the suicide bomber who blew himself up in a market in Hadera on October 26. 6 Security forces arrested Kashua on November 18. According to security sources, Kashua told his interrogators he had been recruited into the Islamic Jihad. He was chosen because he was familiar with the Hadera area, and he arranged with Mantzur to help him transport a suicide bomber. On the day of the bombing, Kashua was given NIS 200 and picked up the suicide bomber, Hassan Abu Zaid, and made their way in a taxi to Kalandiya. There they switched taxis and drove around Jerusalem, then hooked up with Highway 6 and drove to Jat, where Kashua summoned Mantzur. He told Mantzur that he was to take them to the Hadera market. When Mantzur asked why, Kashua told him that the young man "was expecting his God," thus revealing his intention to blow himself up, security sources said. When they reached Baka al-Gharbiya, the pair got out of Mantzur's vehicle and waited while Mantzur drove ahead to check for roadblocks. He returned shortly later after he saw a roadblock being dismantled. As they got back in, Mantzur asked if the bomb was in the bag Kashua was carrying. Kashua told him that the bomb was actually in the youth's bag, security sources said. Security sources said that Mantzur knew that one of his passengers was a suicide bomber and therefore asked for a higher than normal transportation fee of NIS 100. After delivering the suicide bomber to Hadera, Kashua asked the suicide bomber to wait 15 minutes before blowing himself up so they could get out of town. Security sources said that since the security barrier became operational in August 2003, terrorist have increasingly relied on Israeli residents to help transport suicide bombers. These have included both Israeli Jews and Arabs. Mantzur is a Palestinian who resides in Israel as part of the policy to allow relatives to move here. Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister's Office issued a warning in the name of the defense establishment for Israelis to refrain from transporting illegal Palestinian infiltrators. "This action gravely confounds efforts to fight terror and directly helps, even unintentionally, to increase the terrorist threat," a statement said. It said that transporting Palestinians who entered the country illegally "has become a sincere security threat." According to the statement, the courts are now going to imprison not only those who illegally transport these Palestinians, but also anyone employing them. Security sources note that at least two suicide bombers - Hadera last October and Netanya last July - had been transported by Israeli citizens.