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East Jerusalem man accused of planning to launch fireworks at light rail

Police say suspect, a member of an unspecified terror group, tossed pipe bomb at a cop a year ago

An illustrative photo of the Jerusalem light rail passing through Shuafat. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
An illustrative photo of the Jerusalem light rail passing through Shuafat. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

A 25-year-old man from East Jerusalem has been arrested for allegedly planning to attack trains running through the city, police said Thursday.

In a statement, police and the Shin Bet security service said the man planned to launch fireworks at the city’s light rail, as well as bring fireworks into the flashpoint Temple Mount compound to be used during violent clashes with security forces there.

The statement described him as a member of an unspecified terror organization.

The investigation also found that the suspect was involved in making explosives and hurling a pipe bomb at police last year.

Police said an indictment was expected when the investigation concludes.

Palestinian rioters regularly use fireworks and firecrackers during clashes with police in East Jerusalem, aiming the explosive charges at buildings or people, and using the loud noises and bright flashes to disorient the Israeli gendarmes.

Last month saw days of rioting at the Temple Mount, which Muslims call the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, raising tensions in the city which have yet to fully subside.

On Wednesday, police announced that cops in Jerusalem and other areas of the country were being put on high alert ahead of a nationalist march planned for Sunday in the Old City.

Officials fear a repeat of violence surrounding the yearly Jerusalem Day Flag March, which generally attracts thousands of nationalists who march to the Western Wall through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter to mark the anniversary of the city’s unification in 1967.

Last year, Hamas shot rockets at Jerusalem during the parade, sparking 11 days of war, and Gazan terror groups have threatened to take action again in response to “provocations.”

Some 3,000 police will guard the march, while thousands more will be deployed around the city and other locations across the country.

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