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Israel arrests 3 Palestinian dentists over May attack

Israel’s Shin Bet security service reveals it arrested three Palestinian dentists, a nurse, and another suspected member of a terror cell who are suspected of carrying out an IED attack on an IDF officer last month near Hizme in the West Bank and of planning to carry out additional attacks in the future.

On May 10 — just after the start of Israel’s Memorial Day — an Israeli officer was seriously wounded when an improvised explosive device was detonated near his face outside the Palestinian village of Hizma.

Dr. Samer Mahmoud Daoud al-Halabiyeh, a dentist from Abu Dis outside of Jerusalem, is believed to be the operation’s ringleader, who both placed and detonated the pipe bombs that severely injured Shachar Roditi.

Al-Halabiyeh, 36, told interrogators he began planning the attack in February 2016 because of the “desecration of Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian children injured by Israel,” the Shin Bet says in a statement.

Along with al-Halabiyeh, who is believed to have set off the bomb with his cell phone, the Shin Bet and the army’s undercover Duvdevan Unit arrested four other Palestinians who are suspected of having helped al-Halabiyeh in his attack, the security service says.

In the days following the attack, the Shin Bet made the arrests, but details of the case were kept under a court gag order.

Israeli forces also recovered 56 pipe bombs, which they believe were going to be used in future attacks.

Judah Ari Gross

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion next to a West Bank checkpoint outside of the Palestinian village of Hizme, May 10, 2016. (Hadashot ZBM)
Emergency services at the scene of an explosion next to a West Bank checkpoint outside of the Palestinian village of Hizme, May 10, 2016. (Hadashot ZBM)

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