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Arab Israeli man held after apparent attempt to derail a train in northern Israel

Man arrested after obstacle placed on railway tracks between Acre and Karmiel, taken for questioning by Shin Bet

Illustrative: Railway tracks near Karmiel, in northern Israel, on November 8, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: Railway tracks near Karmiel, in northern Israel, on November 8, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The police and Shin Bet Security Service are investigating an apparent attempt to derail a train in northern Israel by placing an obstacle on the railway tracks.

An Arab Israeli man was detained and taken for questioning after the object was found on the railway line between the cities of Acre and Karmiel, police said.

The man, a resident of the north, was handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning over the incident. Police said there was no damage or injury as a result of the incident, which occurred on the Rosh Hashanah holiday when the trains were not running.

Much of the information relating to the ongoing investigation was placed under a gag order.

An official from Israel Railways told Ynet, “There’s no doubt a severe incident was avoided here.”

“A train that’s traveling at a speed of between 120 to 140 kilometers per hour hits an object, it can come off the rails, and the cars can flip over,” he said. “It’s something the conductor can’t avoid because there’s no time or space to stop.”

The case comes as security forces remain on high alert amid a crackdown on terror groups in the West Bank, and concerns of terror attacks during the Jewish High Holidays.

Earlier on Monday, Palestinians scuffled with police in Jerusalem’s Old City as Jewish visitors toured the flashpoint Temple Mount to mark the Jewish New Year.

There were no immediate reports of injuries; however, at least four people were arrested.

A screenshot from a video released by police on September 26, 2022, shows fireworks being shot off during scuffles between Palestinians and officers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Twitter screenshot, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Overnight, clashes broke out between security forces in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as the holidays began.

Tensions have spiked in recent months after the Israel Defense Forces embarked on its operation in the West Bank, which followed a series of deadly terror attacks earlier this year. Israeli troops have repeatedly come under gunfire during nightly raids in the territory.

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed, making 2022 the deadliest year in the territory since 2015. Most, but not all, of the Palestinians killed, have been wanted terrorists or young men and teenagers violently confronting soldiers, including throwing stones, firebombs, or opening fire.

Israeli security officials have warned in recent months that the Palestinian Authority, controlled by Hamas rival Fatah, is losing control of the northern West Bank.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said earlier this month that the Shin Bet had thwarted hundreds of terror attacks this year.

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