By YAAKOV KATZ
Security forces discovered the remains of an improvised explosive device (IED) on the side of Route 443 last week after it failed to fully explode, the IDF announced Thursday.
Firecrackers attached to the bomb went off, but the rest of it did not. The minor explosion of the firecrackers caused major traffic disruptions on the highway, which connects Jerusalem with Modi'in and Tel Aviv.
The bomb was found by IDF and Border Police forces near Dir Naballah, south of Ramallah, last Thursday night and was later destroyed by the IDF in a controlled explosion.
Road 443 is one of Israel's main arteries, and the attack was intended to target passing motorists.
The IED was made out of a gas balloon and firecrackers. Attached to the explosive was a sketch of how and where the Palestinians had planned to plant the bomb on the side of the road, with the goal of causing the greatest possible damage.
The sketch also included the wording: "Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the Alla Abu Sharifa Unit," in an apparent reference to the terror group behind the attack.
Route 443 is under heavy IDF and Border Police
security. There are occasional stoning and
Molotov cocktail attacks on the road from surrounding Palestinian villages.
IDF sources said they would continue operating against Palestinian terrorists targeting Israeli civilians and security forces.
In recent months, the IDF has noted a slight increase in Palestinian attempts to carry out terror attacks in the West Bank. This is attributed to frustration among Palestinian youth with the current deadlock in the peace process.
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