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Palestinian Terror Cell Planned to Hijack Jerusalem Bus

It was released for publication this morning that a plan to hijack an Israeli bus full of passengers and bring it to PA-controlled areas was thwarted last week. The would-be perpetrators: Israeli-Arabs from eastern Jerusalem.

First Publish: 5/19/2003, 8:55 AM

It was released for publication only this morning that a plan to hijack an Israeli bus full of passengers and bring it to PA-controlled areas was thwarted last week. The would-be perpetrators: Israeli-Arabs from eastern Jerusalem.

The General Security Services and the Gidonim Unity of the Jerusalem Police worked together to apprehend the eight-man Hamas cell. The terrorists were planning to hijack a bus in N'vei Yaakov, a large northern Jerusalem neighborhood. Their plan was to hold the passengers hostage and demand in return the release of Arab terrorist prisoners from Israeli prisons.

The police announced that the cell received its instructions from Hamas prisoners in Ashkelon, who used the good offices of their visiting family members to send letters to the cell-members. The cell had also planned to kidnap a soldier, and to rent an apartment in northern Jerusalem to be used as an explosives lab and a kick-off point for attacks. They had already managed to acquire combat materials before they were arrested.

The security services are on high alert in light of the recent wave of terrorism and continued warnings - and a closure has been re-imposed on Arab traffic from Judea, Samaria and Gaza into the rest of Israel. Three soldiers were lightly wounded this morning when a suicide terrorist riding a bicycle sidled up to an IDF jeep and blew himself up. The attack occurred in Gaza, near Kfar Darom.