IDF captures West Bank cell attempting to plant roadside bomb
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IDF captures West Bank cell attempting to plant roadside bomb

Soldiers arrest several suspects throughout the West Bank as army enforces closure ahead of Yom Kippur

Israeli soldiers and security man West Bank road north of Jerusalem, illustrative (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers and security man West Bank road north of Jerusalem, illustrative (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Security forces arrested a number of Palestinian suspects early Friday who attempted to set a bomb on a road near the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz, the army said.

There was no word on the number of men arrested during the ambush operation south of Bethlehem.

Elsewhere in the West Bank troops arrested nine Palestinian suspects wanted for questioning in various investigations.

Security forces were on heightened alert ahead of the holy day of Yom Kippur, which begins on Friday evening, with a boosted army and police presence in Jerusalem and East Jerusalem to prevent friction and violence in the city over the weekend.

The IDF enacted a closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday. The closure is expected to last until midnight on Saturday, “depending on a situational assessment,” the army said.

The closure is a routine procedure during Israeli and Jewish holidays, generally seen by defense officials as a time period of increased tension in the region, when the risk of terror attacks is higher.

However, in a less common move, the military also announced that Palestinian workers would be barred from entering Jewish settlements in the West Bank — a measure that is not normally taken during closures. The army said special permission may be granted in some cases.

This additional restriction is likely tied to the terror attack on Tuesday morning, in which a Palestinian gunman hid among a group of laborers waiting to enter the Har Adar settlement, outside Jerusalem. When he was called to stop, the terrorist opened fire with a handgun, killing three security officers and wounding a fourth.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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