Palestinian trio tries to smuggle pipe bombs into West Bank military court
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Palestinian trio tries to smuggle pipe bombs into West Bank military court

Border guard at entrance notices men's suspicious behavior, discovers explosive devices hidden in plastic bag

A pipe bomb that a Palestinian man tried to smuggle into the Samaria Military Court on February 13, 2018. (Israel Police)
A pipe bomb that a Palestinian man tried to smuggle into the Samaria Military Court on February 13, 2018. (Israel Police)

Security forces on Wednesday foiled an attempt to smuggle a number of pipe bombs into the Samaria Military Court — the second such incident in as many days at the West Bank facility.

A Border Police guard in charge of security checks at the entrance to the courthouse noticed three Palestinians acting suspiciously outside, the Israel Police said in a statement.

The guard approached them and, after noticing that one of the suspects was holding what appeared to be a pipe bomb, aimed his weapon at the group while calling for backup. The officer also demanded that they remove their clothes, a standard procedure when security forces fear a suspect may be carrying a concealed bomb or weapon.

Another of the suspects was holding a plastic bag that security guards suspected contained at least one pipe bomb, the statement continued. The suspect threw the bag to the side, and a subsequent search revealed that he was carrying at least another two pipe bombs.

The incident was still ongoing in the early afternoon, police said, with the three suspects still at the scene while security forces waited for sappers to neutralize the suspected improvised explosive devices.

On Tuesday a Palestinian man was stopped as he tried to smuggle a pipe bomb packed with metal shards from knives into the same courthouse.

The Samaria Military Court has been targeted several times in the past few months by Palestinians carrying pipe bombs.

Last week a man was stopped under very similar circumstances as he tried to smuggle a pipe bomb into the military court. On December 28, Border Police officers arrested a 16-year-old Palestinian teen who was carrying a pipe bomb as he entered the court. Less than two weeks earlier, police arrested a Palestinian man who tried to enter the same military court with two pipe bombs.

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