IDF: Soldiers nab 3 Palestinians with pipe bombs near West Bank settlement
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IDF: Soldiers nab 3 Palestinians with pipe bombs near West Bank settlement

In separate case, 2 explosive devices are thrown at the Rachel’s Tomb holy site in Bethlehem

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh as seen from the northern West Bank city of Nablus on December 7, 2016. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)
The Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh as seen from the northern West Bank city of Nablus on December 7, 2016. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Israeli troops arrested three Palestinian suspects armed with pipe bombs outside a settlement in the northern West Bank on Tuesday, the army said.

In a separate case, on the other side of the West Bank, two pipe bombs were thrown at the Rachel’s Tomb holy site in Bethlehem. The explosives failed to detonate and “did not endanger anyone and caused no injuries,” police said.

According to the military, three suspects were spotted by a soldier who was monitoring surveillance cameras in the area between the Palestinian village of Deir al-Hatab and the Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh, near Nablus.

Soldiers were called to the area, who arrested the three Palestinians.

“After a search, four pipe bombs were found in their possession,” the military said.

The suspects were handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning.

A pipe bomb that was thrown at the Rachel’s Tomb holy site in Bethlehem but failed to explode on August 14, 2018. (Israel Police)

Police said the two pipe bombs were thrown from the Palestinian side of the barrier surrounding the pilgrimage site.

Sappers were called to the scene to neutralize the explosives, and border guards closed down the area and set up roadblocks in order to search for the perpetrators of the attempted pipe bomb attack, police said.

On Monday night and early Tuesday morning, Israeli troops arrested 21 Palestinian suspects and shuttered an illegal weapons manufacturing workshop in a series of raids across the West Bank, the military said.

Riots broke out in two Palestinian villages as a result of the raids, with residents throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails and explosives at IDF troops, who retaliated with less-lethal weapons and gunshots fired into the air, the army said.

No Israeli injuries were reported.

Ronen Lubarsky, an IDF soldier from the Duvdevan unit who died on May 26, 2018 after being critically injured by a slab thrown on his head two days earlier (Courtesy)

Troops also began preparations to demolish the family home of Islam Yousef Abu Hamid, a Palestinian man from the el-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah who is suspected of killing IDF soldier Ronen Lubarsky earlier this year by dropping a stone slab on his head, the IDF said.

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