Arab arrested for attempting to blow up Jerusalem pub

Suspect tampered with gas tanks, gas lines in attempt to set off explosion after he was unable to enter packed Jerusalem bar.

Contact Editor
Shlomo Pyotrovsky,

Illustration
Illustration
Police spokesperson

Police arrested an Arab resident of the capital on suspicion the man attempted to set off an explosion next to a Jerusalem pub.

Prosecutors are expected to file a preliminary indictment against the man on Monday in order to secure an extension for his arrest, ahead of the full indictment.

According to Jerusalem police, the suspect tampered with gas tanks and gas lines near the pub in downtown Jerusalem, then attempted to set off an explosion by throwing a lit cigarette at the gas tanks.

Less than two weeks ago, Jerusalem police received a report of a serious gas leak in downtown Jerusalem, near a number of bars and restaurants. Officers dispatched to the scene closed off the area and called in firefighters to shut down the leaking gas lines and remove the damaged gas tanks.

In a subsequent investigation into the latest incident, authorities identified and located the suspect; an Arab resident of the capital in his 30s. Police took the suspect into custody and questioned him regarding the incident.

Police say the suspect approachedl a local bar but was unable to enter due to the large number of customers inside. He then continued on to an alley behind the bar and attempted to enter through a backdoor.

When the suspect found the door was locked, he began opening gas tanks stored behind the bar, and tampered with the gas regulator. After opening a number of gas tanks and damaging pipes carrying the gas, causing leaks, the suspect attempted to ignite the leaking gas by flicking his lit cigarette towards the tanks before fleeing the scene.

Shortly thereafter employees of the bar smelled the gas leaks, evacuated the establishment, and notified police.