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Suicide bombing foiled

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  • Josh Pollack
    Ha aretz Thursday, August 02, 2001 Suicide bomb attack foiled near Beit She an By Jalal Bana, Ha aretz Correspondent, and agencies
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2001
      Thursday, August 02, 2001
      Suicide bomb attack foiled near Beit She'an
      By Jalal Bana, Ha'aretz Correspondent, and agencies


      IDF soldiers foiled a Palestinian suicide bomb attack on a crowded bus near
      Beit She'an on Thursday. A 16-year-old Palestinian carrying a large, heavy
      bag tried to board a bus full of soldiers travelling from Jerusalem to
      Kiryat Shmona.

      The bus driver, Menashe Nuriel, said he was suspicious of the bag, and then
      saw wires leading from it to a switch. "I understood it was a bomb, I jumped
      on him and we fell off the bus," he told reporters.

      A soldier grabbed the Palestinian from behind as a woman soldier snatched
      the bag from his hands. Police said it contained a large bomb, made up of 10
      kilograms (22 pounds) of explosives with nails and scrap metal around it.

      Police spokesman Yossi Hasson said it appeared that during the struggle, the
      young Palestinian tried to detonate the explosives in the bag and blow
      himself up with the bus, but the mechanism failed.

      Witnesses said when police detonated the charge three hours later, the
      explosion was huge. A suicide bomber with a much smaller explosive device
      killed himself and 21 other people, most of them teenagers, in the attack at
      the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv on June 1.

      Police said that the youth, from a nearby Palestinian village, was waiting
      in a car near the bus stop in the northern Moshav Revaya. When the bus
      packed with soldiers stopped, the Palestinian got out of the car and the
      driver handed him the bag before leaving the scene. Police, army and
      intelligence services launched a search for two people who were said to be
      in the car.

      The Palestinian who tried to board the bus was captured and taken for
      questioning. The Palestinian was taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet
      security service. In his investigation, the youth said another man gave him
      the bag near the moshav. Police began searching the area for the man who
      allegedly gave the youth the bag.

      Later Thursday, an IDF helcipter seeking a Palestinian militant involved in
      the foiled bus bombing hauled the wrong suspect into a waiting helicopter
      and whisked him away on Thursday, an IDF source said.

      Palestinian sources said that a special IDF force kidnapped 30-year-old
      Murad Bashirat, a key member of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser
      Arafat's Fatah movement. However it turned out later that Bashirat is a
      junior Fatah member and not the suspect they were after.

      The military source said Bsharat was returned by helicopter to the spot
      where he was grabbed. His family confirmed he was safely home. The IDF was
      searching for the person who gave a Palestinian youth a bag of explosives
      which he tried to detonate on a bus in northern Israel.

      Palestinians said an IDF helicopter landed Thursday afternoon close to a
      roadblock belonging to Palestinian security forces near Kfar Tamun, north
      east of the West Bank town of Nablus. Several IDF soldiers got out of the
      helicopter, the sources claimed, and forcibly placed Bashirat in the
      helicopter, which took off immediately afterward.

      Also Thursday, Palestinian Firas Abdel Haq, 23, was shot dead by IDF troops
      near Nablus, Palestinian witnesses and hospital doctors said. The IDF said
      it fired on two Palestinians trying to plant a bomb. One was killed and the
      other escaped, the army said.

      Earlier Thursday, shots were fired at the Jewish quarter of Hebron from the
      adjacent Abu Sneineh neighborhood, which is under Palestinian Authority
      security control. Four mortar shells were fired by Palestinians in the Gaza
      Strip on Thursday, after another night of violent clashes in the

      The Palestinians also reported that a man was killed in an exchange of
      gunfire with IDF troops in the West Bank town of Hebron on Wednesday. The
      man, Mohammed Sharabati, a 35-year-old resident of Hebron, was shot by IDF
      troops after a mock funeral in the town in honor of the eight Palestinians
      killed Tuesday in Nablus turned into a violent demonstration.

      Similar mock funerals were held throughout towns and cities in the
      territories and in some cases, youths approached IDF outposts and threw

      The military wing of Fatah released a statement Thursday calling on the
      Palestinian Authority to release all of those it had arrested for
      involvement in attacks on Israel. The call came in the wake of the bombing
      Tuesday of a Hamas office in Nablus in which eight Palestinians, including
      two senior Hamas members and two children, were killed.

      Two of the mortar shells fired Thursday morning fell near the settlement of
      Morag and another two fell in the northern part of Gaza, near the border
      fence with Israel. Overnight, mortars were fired at the Gaza settlements of
      Netzer Hazani, Atzmona, Gadid and Kfar Darom. A female resident of Netzer
      Hazani was lightly injured in one of the attacks.

      There were shooting incidents across the West Bank overnight Wednesday.
      Shots were fired at an IDF vehicle in the Nablus area, at IDF positions and
      at the settlement of Psagot in the Ramallah area, and at a Border Police
      patrol in Har Gilo, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

      A small pipe bomb exploded Wednesday in the gardens outside the King David
      Hotel in Jerusalem after it was found by two city gardeners who, thinking it
      was a piece of forgotten irrigation equipment, opened it and dumped most of
      the explosive material onto the ground. One of the gardeners was slightly
      injured in the small blast.

      There were shooting incidents throughout the territories during the course
      of Wednesday, including four hours of sniping at the Jewish settler compound
      of Tel Rumeida in Hebron, and a total of 26 mortars being fired at
      settlements and IDF outposts in the Gaza Strip. Only one Israeli casualty
      was reported, a slight leg wound to a Border Policeman in Hebron. More than
      80 hand grenades were thrown at outposts throughout Gaza.

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