Residents of Tel Aviv, Holon, Bat Yam and Rishon Lezion held their breath Tuesday night as police alerted the public to a suicide bombing plot that was already in motion in the region. After a dragnet that lasted approximately two hours, several Palestinian Authority terrorists were apprehended by police. They confessed to the planned attack and led officers to a dumpster in Rishon Lezion where they had stashed their explosives earlier in the day.
Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the would-be bomber and his accomplices were tracked to an apartment in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv. The group had apparently planned to send a suicide bomber into the Tel Aviv central bus station later Tuesday night.

The Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.

Shortly after 6:00 p.m., the coastal cities of Bat Yam and Holon, located just south of Tel Aviv, were placed on high alert due to intelligence reports that a suicide bomber was on the move in the region. Police and border guards responded to the warning by quickly setting up roadblocks and calling on the public to be aware of any suspicious activity or persons. An intense search was conducted by security forces.

By 7:00 p.m., the terror alert had expanded to include the cities of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, as well as the city of Rishon Lezion, located further south. As happened in Bat Yam and Holon, police roadblocks suddenly went up all around the targeted cities. Security services, expanding their sweep, were operating under the assumption that a suicide bomber was in the greater Tel Aviv region.

At around 8:00 p.m., police announced that roadblocks in the Tel Aviv area were being dismantled and that the terror alert had been lowered. Tel Aviv District Police Chief David Zur added, however, that residents of the region should remain alert and avoid areas still closed off to the public. At that point, several PA terrorists had been apprehended in Bat Yam. They led police to their hidden explosives in Rishon Lezion.

Police sappers successfully disposed of the 3-5 kilogram bomb in a controlled explosion. No injuries were reported in the incident.

The Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing. The would-be suicide bomber was identified as 24-year-old Omar Abu Roub.
PA Terrorists Shoot Israeli Contractor, Attack IDF Patrol
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Palestinian Authority terrorists shot and lightly injured a contractor who was working on the security fence near northern Jerusalem, according to police. The man was treated by first response personnel at the scene of the shooting.

The PA-based attackers were not identified.

An IDF patrol unit also came under enemy attack on Tuesday afternoon. PA terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at the soldiers as they drove next to the southern section of the security fence that runs along the Gaza Strip. No one was hurt in the attack and no damage was reported.

Three American Women Kidnapped Near Shechem

The US consulate was notified of the kidnapping.

Three American women were kidnapped near the Samarian city of Shechem Tuesday afternoon. The initial suspicion was that they were taken captive by Palestinian Authority terrorists, as has happened many times in the past year. A PA security source quoted by the Reuters news agency reported the kidnapping.

Within an hour, the three women were released and an Arab resident of the PA claimed personal responsibility for the short-lived kidnapping. The kidnapper, Hamd Saud, reportedly wanted a job in the PA security force and medication for an old leg injury.

The identities of the kidnapped women, seen snapping pictures in the Balata neighborhood, on the outskirts of Shechem, were not revealed. The three were apparently human rights activists who had come to act on their support for the PA Arabs. The US consulate was notified of the kidnapping and of the women's subsequent release.