Border police say Jerusalem terror attack foiled at West Bank checkpoint
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Border police say Jerusalem terror attack foiled at West Bank checkpoint

Security forces seize a bag of knives, stun grenades and Molotov cocktails from six Palestinians in a vehicle heading to the capital

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

A bag of knives, stun grenades, and Molotov cocktail materials confiscated from a Palestinian vehicle at the Mazmoria checkpoint outside Bethlehem. (Police spokesperson)
A bag of knives, stun grenades, and Molotov cocktail materials confiscated from a Palestinian vehicle at the Mazmoria checkpoint outside Bethlehem. (Police spokesperson)

Border police said they foiled a terror attack Tuesday after finding a bag of knives, stun grenades and Molotov cocktail materials during the search of a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint near East Jerusalem.

The car was heading into the Jerusalem side of the Mizmoriya checkpoint, outside Bethlehem, when it was stopped after security forces noticed that its front and back license plates did not match.

The officers ordered the six riders, who also lacked entry permits, to exit the vehicle for it to be examined.

Upon discovering the various weapons, the suspects were detained, the vehicle was seized and the checkpoint was temporarily closed.

According to the police spokesperson, the suspects admitted during initial questioning to planning to carry out a terror attack in Jerusalem.

Illustrative image of Palestinians crossing the Bethlehem checkpoint, on June 23, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)
Illustrative image of Palestinians crossing the Bethlehem checkpoint, on June 23, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

Last week, a Palestinian woman was detained while trying to cross a different West Bank checkpoint outside Bethlehem with a knife, apparently while on her way to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

Border police officers who searched the 36-year-old at the crossing near the city of Bethlehem found the weapon during a search, police said. The woman, from the town of Yatta, near Hebron, was taken for questioning, where she reportedly told investigators she wanted to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

Nobody was injured during the incident, which came less than two weeks after three Palestinian men carried out an attack in the Old City of Jerusalem that killed a Border Police officer, 23-year-old Hadas Malka.

Since September 2015, some 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans, an Eritrean national, a Palestinian man and a British student have been killed in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks by Palestinian assailants. In that time, more than 270 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.

The spate of Palestinian attacks that began in October 2015 was dubbed the “lone wolf” intifada, as many of the attacks were carried out by individuals who were not connected to any terror group. Israeli security officials say that many of the attacks, particularly those that are carried out by women, were attempts at suicide by soldier.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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