Palestinian arrested outside West Bank military court with pipe bombs
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Palestinian arrested outside West Bank military court with pipe bombs

Sappers defuse explosives, one of which was strapped to suspect's body; would-be attacker was stopped at entrance by Israeli forces

A photo of a suspected explosive device police said was discovered strapped to a Palestinian by Border Police officers outside the Samaria Military Court in the West Bank, on December 17, 2017. (Police Spokesperson)
A photo of a suspected explosive device police said was discovered strapped to a Palestinian by Border Police officers outside the Samaria Military Court in the West Bank, on December 17, 2017. (Police Spokesperson)

A Palestinian man was arrested on Sunday while trying to enter a West Bank military court with two pipe bombs, police said.

The suspect, who was stopped by Border Police officers at the entrance to the Samaria Military Court, had a bomb strapped to his body, according to police.

Police confirmed the pipe bomb, which was destroyed by sappers, contained explosive material.

Sappers also defused a second pipe bomb, which along with a knife was found in the suspect’s coat.

Police said the entrance to the court had been closed and that the suspect, a 17-year-old resident of the Jenin refugee camp, was taken in for questioning following his arrest.

A police spokesperson praised “the vigilance of the soldiers who prevented an attack.”

The incident came amid ongoing tensions over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month.

While protests over the weekend were smaller than the previous week, four Palestinians were killed on Friday by Israeli security forces during violent riots in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

In the first incident on Friday, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed an Israeli border police officer near Ramallah, before being fatally shot.

A Palestinian man, wearing a suspected suicide vest, is carried into an ambulance after he stabbed a soldier and was then shot in the West Bank town of al-Bireh on December 15, 2017. (Oren Ziv/AFP)

The attacker, who the Palestinian Authority health ministry named as Mohammed Aqal, 29, was shot by other officers after stabbing the border policeman. Aqal was wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt, the army said. Hadashot news later said it did not contain actual explosives.

Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center said Sunday that the condition of the officer, who was moderately wounded in the stabbing, has improved.

 

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