Brigadier-General Tamir Yadai, Commander of the IDF's Judea and Samaria Division, on Thursday night praised the soldiers who were involved in nabbing the terrorists behind the Bat Yam bus bombing.
The 14 terrorists, including members of the Islamic Jihad, Bedouin and a Palestinian Authority (PA) police officer, were arrested in a joint operation of the IDF, the Israel Police and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).
Yadai said that the arrests prevented more planned terror attacks.
"Over the past ten days we were looking for the terror cell, which is essentially a cell of the Islamic Jihad in Bethlehem," he explained. "The terrorist who placed the bomb on the bus came from the Judea area and he worked with a Bedouin with Israeli citizenship who drove him into Israel.”
One of the terrorists who were arrested led investigators to a stash of explosives weighing about 20 kilograms, that were hidden near his home, and were to be used for another terror attack.
“This terror cell has knowledge in preparing bombs. We prevented further attacks,” said Yadai.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the security forces for their quick work in nabbing the terrorists, and said that the involvement of a PA security officer in the attack is proof that the PA is directly involved in planning and carrying out terror attacks.
"This is further evidence of the PA’s direct involvement in terrorism. It’s time that [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas stop celebrating with freed murderers and lead his people to the path of peace," said Netanyahu.