Counterterrorism police arrest Palestinian on Route 6 suspected of planning attack

Yamam officers take the man, who was in Israel illegally, for questioning, alleging intention to carry out ‘terror activity’ amid string of deadly attacks

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Yamam officers detain a Palestinian suspect on the Route 6 highway near the Nahshonim Junction, April 3, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)
Yamam officers detain a Palestinian suspect on the Route 6 highway near the Nahshonim Junction, April 3, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)

Undercover officers from the police’s Yamam counterterrorism unit arrested a Palestinian man on the Route 6 highway Sunday night, who was suspected of planning a terror attack, police said.

The suspect, who was in Israel illegally, was detained near the Nahshonim Junction. Law enforcement officials said he was suspected of “intending to carry out terror activity.”

He was taken for further questioning by the Shin Bet security agency, which had also provided Israel Police with the intelligence on the suspect’s location and alleged intent.

It was not immediately clear what kind of attack the suspect was planning, or where. According to Hebrew media reports, the suspect was unarmed at the time of his arrest.

The highway was briefly closed during the arrest operation.

The arrest comes following a series of deadly terror attacks in Israel within a span of days that left 11 people dead and put Israeli security forces on heightened alert. The escalation has come as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins — often a period of high tension in Israel and the West Bank.

IDF soldiers are seen operating in the West Bank, in an image published by the military on April 2, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel was entering a period of “vigilant routine” as security forces work to prevent further terror attacks.

“Terrorists have all kinds of ideas, so we are on high alert, both the Shin Bet and the Israel Police, to identify any hint of an idea or plan for an attack, and thwart it in advance,” Bennett said, after troops killed three gunmen who were allegedly en route from the Jenin area to carry out an attack in Israel in the predawn hours of Saturday. The Yamam unit was also involved in the incident near Jenin.

Israel has ramped up security measures in response to the attacks and deployed additional forces to the West Bank, Gaza border and major cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Israeli officials have sought to quell the tensions as Ramadan begins amid fears that the violence could snowball into the same type of unrest that rocked Israel in May 2021, when Hamas began shooting rockets into Israel, sparking an 11-day war with Gaza and days of rioting between Arabs and Jews inside Israel.

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