Hundreds of police officers in conjunction with border police as well as Israeli Security Service (ISS) personnel conducted an extensive search this morning for a resident of eastern Jerusalem who reportedly told his family that he intends to perpetrate a terror attack in Herzliya.
Early reports indicated that the potential terrorist broke through a police barrier near Jerusalem and drove in the direction of central Israel. His abandoned vehicle was found in Herzliya.
He has been identified as Ahmad Khatib, a 20-year-old resident of Tzur Baher near Jerusalem. Khatib has a criminal record, although police have not revealed if his crimes were nationalistic or otherwise.
According to a recent police report, Khatib left his Jerusalem in Isawiya after getting into a fight with his father, in which Khatib said that he was planning to carry out an attack in Herzliya. According to police, Khatib is a drug user who has prior convictions for charges involving theft and sexual crimes. Police have said that he also suffers from a mental health disorder.
Herzliya Mayor Moshe Fadlon, said that the city is on high alert. "We won't bow to terror. Terror will not silence the life of our city. We will carry on as usual. I myself visited numerous schools and kindergartens this morning and they are all full. We simply won't give in. We are prepared and we are working together with the police, and we are preparing ourselves as is appropriate with this situation."
So far police have managed to track down Khatib's car and traced his cell phone to the Cental Bus Terminal of the city. Police searches, which include a search helicopter, are focusing on the terminal and the surrounding area.
Police forces are scouring the city and the surrounding area, in conjunction with the search for Nashat Melhem, who was behind last Friday’s fatal shooting in Tel Aviv. Security has been bolstered throughout the area, with an emphasis on schools and kindergartens.
Separately, Jewish Israelis driving through Samaria reported coming under fire overnight. The shooter damaged the car's windshield, but no one inside was harmed beyond suffering trauma. IDF forces quickly arrived on the scene and have been looking for the attacker.