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IDF carries out searches in West Bank, detains suspect

Soldiers question Palestinian man following intelligence alert; residents of Talmon and Dolev settlements told to remain indoors

Illustrative photo of IDF soldiers patrolling a field in the West Bank. (Michal Fattal/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of IDF soldiers patrolling a field in the West Bank. (Michal Fattal/Flash90)

A Palestinian was detained and interrogated by Israeli security forces in the West Bank on Tuesday, as the army launched searches following an intelligence alert that a two-man cell was planning a terror attack near the settlement of Talmon, northwest of Ramallah.

Residents of the settlements of Talmon and Dolev, which lie just south of Halamish, the site of Friday’s deadly slaying of three members of the Salomon family, were instructed to stay in their homes, Channel 2 reported.

Soldiers continued to comb the area after stopping the Palestinian for questioning. He was not immediately identified by the army.

Security forces have been on high alert due to the tensions surrounding Israel’s decision to place metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount after two Israeli police officers were shot dead just outside the compound on July 14, in a terror attack by three Arab Israelis who used guns they had smuggled into the holy site.

IDF forces operate in the West Bank settlement of Halamish on July 23, 2017. (IDF spokesman)
IDF forces operate in the West Bank settlement of Halamish on July 23, 2017. (IDF spokesman)

Israel removed the metal detectors and advanced security cameras installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount on Tuesday, after the security cabinet voted for their removal in a bid to defuse the situation.

On Friday, Yosef Salomon, 70, and his two children Chaya Salomon, 46, and Elad Salomon, 36, were stabbed to death by 19-year-old Palestinian Omar al-Abed. They had been celebrating Shabbat at home Friday evening.

In initial questioning, Abed said he bought the knife two days before the stabbing, wanting to commit a terror attack because of the tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.

On Monday, an Arab-Israeli man was stabbed by a Palestinian assailant in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva, late in what police said was a terror attack.

According to the Hebrew media, the assailant told police investigators that he carried out the attack in response to Israel’s actions at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem. “I did it for Al-Aqsa,” he reportedly said.

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