Israel Police caught two East Jerusalem men with pipe bombs and ammunition hidden in their kiosk outside of Herod’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on Wednesday.
A police sapper was called in to disarm the home-made explosive devices, which were found in a food stand. The suspects were in their 40s and have been brought in for questioning, a spokesperson said.
Police did not immediately say whether they suspected the incident was terror-related or criminal. “An investigation has been opened into the motives and circumstances of the incident,” the spokesperson said.
Overnight, the IDF and Border Police arrested 18 Palestinians in the West Bank. Eight of the Palestinians were arrested for being members of the Hamas terror group, while three were brought in for so-called popular terrorism, the IDF’s term for rock throwing and participation in violent protests, an army spokesperson said.
The suspicions against the remaining seven suspects were not provided and the IDF refused to elaborate, saying only that they were involved in “some sort of illegal activity.”
It was the second night in a row in which comparatively large numbers of Palestinians have been arrested. On Monday night and early Tuesday morning, 19 people were arrested in the West Bank.
In 2015, the IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police arrested over 3,000 Palestinians for affiliation with terror groups, rock throwing and other charges, resulting in over 1,900 indictments, according to statistics released by the Shin Bet on Tuesday.