Palestinians held after M-16 rifle found in car

Intelligence information leads to arrest of trio of suspected arms dealers from Ramallah and Nablus

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

An M-16 rifle found in the trunk of a Palestinian car on June 19, 2016. (Police spokesperson's unit)
An M-16 rifle found in the trunk of a Palestinian car on June 19, 2016. (Police spokesperson's unit)

Security forces arrested three Palestinians late Saturday after they were caught at a West Bank junction with an M-16 rifle hidden in their car.

Border Police stopped the vehicle as it passed through Tapuah junction, a major West Bank intersection near a number of Israeli settlements south of Nablus.

The men, said to be in their twenties, were from Ramallah and Nablus and were detained on suspicion of arms dealing. Troops had been dispatched to the site to search for the three after intelligence on them was received, according to police.

A search of the vehicle uncovered the rifle, which had been broken down into parts and concealed in different parts of the car. The suspects were detained for further investigation by security forces

There have been several terror incidents at the busy junction including three this year in which Palestinians were stopped in the area with knives they intended to use for stabbing attacks, according to the IDF.

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In November 2015, four Israelis were wounded, two of them seriously, in a car-ramming attack at the site. A group of Israelis was waiting for a bus when the driver — 22-year-old Sleiman Shahin from Ramallah — approached the intersection, then accelerated into the waiting crowd, according to witnesses and police. Border Police shot and killed him at the site.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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