Three Palestinians from Nablus suspected of plotting a terrorist attack against Israelis were arrested overnight in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, the Shin Bet security agency said Tuesday.
The joint police and Shin Bet sting operation nabbed the three, who were allegedly planning a terror attack in Jerusalem over the Passover holiday.
The Shin Bet said that the three had no weapons on their persons at the time of their arrest, but “expressed the intention to carry out a terror attack in the immediate future.”
The three were all residents of the West Bank city of Nablus, but were located in an East Jerusalem apartment at the time of their arrest. It was not immediately clear if they were simply passing through the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood or had been illegally living there for some time.
“The three were arrested and handed over to security forces for questioning,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
The suspects reportedly did not have an arrest record nor were they known members of a terrorist organization.
In the West Bank, IDF soldiers arrested three other Palestinians for undisclosed reasons. One was arrested in Qalandiya, while the other two were arrested in villages outside of Bethlehem.
The arrests came just a week after a bomb exploded on a Jerusalem city bus, injuring 20. Hamas claimed the suicide bomber was a member of the Palestinian terrorist organization.
Police have beefed up security around Jerusalem’s Old City and on the Temple Mount in a bid to prevent disturbances at the flashpoint sites during Passover, when thousands of Jewish and foreign tourists visit.
Earlier this month, the IDF warned that although Israel has seen a period of relative calm in past weeks, the terror wave could pick up again over the Passover holiday.
“We are gearing up for a significant escalation [in violence] and ahead of that, we will boost reinforcements,” an IDF official said on April 13.