Israel’s Shin Bet security agency announced yesterday that nine Palestinians have been arrested who were planning a number of attacks on Israelis.
The Shin Bet said that the arrests had been made between August and October in joint operations also involving the police and IDF, though they have only just been cleared for publication by the military. All nine suspects are due to be formally indicted in a Jerusalem court.
Eight of the suspects, who were apprehended at locations across the West Bank, are suspected of having already targeted Israeli soldiers with various explosives and had been developing pipe bombs for use in future attacks. Israeli forces raided their manufacturing facility and discovered 120 kilos of raw materials required for developing explosives.
The ninth suspect, from East Jerusalem, was named as Ahmed Azela from the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Azela admitted when questioned that he planned to smuggle two kilograms of explosives into Jerusalem for the purpose of manufacturing pipe bombs.
Earlier this week, Israeli forces shut down two workshops in the West Bank which it said were being used to manufacture illegal weapons. Several arrests were made and in further raids, a stash of bullets, knives and a homemade gun were found in Yatta, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
The IDF says that it has dismantled 37 Palestinian weapon manufacturing workshops and seized over 370 firearms in the West Bank since the beginning of 2016. Since October last year, a wave of Palestinian violence has killed 42 people.