Daily Israel Report

Purim Attack Prevented: 20-Kg. Bomb Neutralized

A bomb was found Sunday night when two Arabs tried to bring it through a checkpoint near Shechem (Nablus) for planned detonation on the festive holiday of Purim on Tuesday. Israel is on high alert.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 3/13/2006, 8:04 AM / Last Update: 3/13/2006, 10:42 AM

The small but powerful, almost 20-kilogram bomb was hidden in a large jar of olives, which two 18-year-olds were carrying in a duffle bag.

The two youths acted "strangely," an officer said, arousing the suspicions of the checkpoint soldiers. The soldiers told them to place their bags on the ground, at which point a suspicious object was noted, and the entire checkpoint entered "suicide terrorist" mode. The terrorists were told to move away from the bags, the checkpoint was closed, and sappers were called to the site. Upon their arrest, the Arabs told investigators that the bomb originated in Shechem, where terrorist activity has been on the increase of late.

Israel is on high terrorist alert throughout the country, and particularly in the north, because of fear of Purim terrorist attacks. The holiday is tonight (Monday) and tomorrow in most of the country, while in Jerusalem, it is tomorrow night and Wednesday.

Israel's intelligence community is considering 59 different terrorist warnings, including 14 specific ones. Three specific warnings were received just last night (Sunday). A closure has been imposed on the PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria, and thousands of policemen and volunteers are manning areas around the country.

The threat from the Hizbullah terror organization in Lebanon is also being taken seriously. Several roads have been closed in the north, and farmers are not permitted to farm their lands adjacent to the Israel-Lebanon border fence.

The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced Lanin Muhammed Al-Turi to 16 years in prison this morning, for his attempt to kill an Israeli and kidnap a soldier and transfer him to Hamas in Ramallah.

Two wanted Tanzim terrorists were arrested by Israeli forces in Bethlehem during the night.

No Kassam rockets have been fired from Gaza since Sunday afternoon, when two were fired at the western Negev. No damage resulted.