Security Forces Foil Tel Aviv Terror Attack, Find Suicide Belt

Suicide belt found in a Tel Aviv apartment Saturday morning following arrests of about 40 terrorists in Shechem in large scale IDF operation.

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Gil Ronen,

IDF soldiers in Shechem.
IDF soldiers in Shechem.
IDF website

A four day long operation by Israeli security forces against a terror cell based in Shechem, in Samaria, ended with the successful prevention of a suicide terror attack Saturday morning. The operation culminated in a raid on an apartment in southern Tel Aviv by SHABAK (General Security Service) agents and YASAM (special reconnaissance unit) police, who found the suicide belt prepared by the terrorists and blew it up in a controlled fashion.

The operation was mounted by a brigade-sized IDF force in the neighborhood of Ein Beit Ilma in Shechem. The information that led to the location of the belt was acquired following the arrest of terrorist Mahdi Ashur, a resident of Shechem who is employed in Tel Aviv.

Security forces had been looking for the suicide belt from the start of the operation, early Tuesday morning. Paratroopers and Haruv battalion fighters arrested the would-be suicide bomber, his recruiter and the person who was to lead him to the intended target. The three were interrogated by the SHABAK but apparently did not lead the interrogators to the suicide belt. 36 other people suspected of belonging to the joint Hamas-PFLP terror cell were arrested as well. Staff Sgt. Ben-Zion Haneman was killed during this part of the operation, and his comrades killed the terrorist who had killed him.

According to The Post, senior defense sources said that the suicide terror attack was planned for Yom Kippur, and that it was intended to undermine the planned diplomatic summit between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Suicide belt located
Security forces then arrested Niad Shakirat, the Hamas commander in Shechem, and Shakirat admitted that he had given the suicide belt to Ashur. This led to the location of the belt, in an apartment which serv
The workers broke the nose of one of the policemen. The policemen managed to overpower them and located the suicide belt.
es illegal Arab workers, on the corner of Yafo and Pigiotto streets in southern Tel Aviv.

The workers who were present in the apartment Saturday morning put up a fight when the YASAM raided the apartment, and broke the nose of one of the policemen. The policemen managed to overpower the Arabs and located the suicide belt, which appeared to have been transferred to the apartment in parts and assembled there. They took the belt to the sand dunes between Rishon Letzion and Holon and blew it up in a controlled fashion. The charge was described as being of medium power, and containing ball bearings for added killing power.

Shakirat had been arrested on Thursday night by the IDF's Duvdevan unit, whose members specialize in disguising themselves as Arabs and "blending into the scenery" in Arab villages and towns. Military sources said Shakirat was arrested in the middle of a street after the family he had been staying with threw him out of its house for fear that he would be caught there.

An explosives laboratory was also discovered in Shechem and IDF Radio reported it would be blown up Saturday night.

Other holiday incidents
Friday night, Arabs threw an explosive charge at IDF soldiers in Shechem and fired shots at them. No soldiers were hurt.

In another incident during the holiday, the IDF attacked a terror unit that tried to fire mortars into Israel from southern Gaza. There is no information on Arab casualties. Another terror unit fired a mortar which exploded on the Arab side of the Nahal Oz crossing in northern Gaza.

The Arab areas of Judea and Samaria were placed under closure from Thursday night to the end of the Yom Kippur holiday.