Israeli troops on Thursday arrested three Palestinians who were in possession of “a number” of pipe bombs in the northern West Bank, the army said.
The suspects were spotted outside the village of Deir al-Hatab, near Nablus, by soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras, and the troops were dispatched to arrest them.
The three suspects were handed over to the Shin Bet for questioning.
The incident came hours after police arrested two other Palestinian teenagers who were found holding improvised explosive devices outside a nearby military courthouse.
The entrance to the Samaria Military Court in the village of Salem was briefly blocked and the area cordoned off, while a police sapper inspected the devices, which were found in plastic bags.
Police said in a statement that officers noticed the “suspicious behavior” of the teens — aged 14 and 18 — and stopped them, thus foiling a terror attack at the court.
One of the objects was revealed to indeed be a pipe bomb, while the two others were improvised explosive devices made from metal containers, police said.
All the bombs were loaded with explosives and detonators, and were subsequently destroyed in a controlled explosion.
The entrance to the court was then reopened, and the suspects were taken for questioning.
Pipe bombs are frequently used by Palestinian assailants in attempted attacks at the Samaria Military Court.
In May, security forces arrested two Palestinians after they were caught with three pipe bombs at the entrance to the court. The youths were also said to be in possession of a gas canister.
On March 11, security forces foiled an attempt to smuggle two pipe bombs into the court when two Palestinians, both 16-year-old residents of Jenin, were detained by Border Police guards at the security checkpoint at the entrance to the court.
Times of Israel staff and Jacob Magid contributed to this report.