Two Palestinians, Arab Israeli teen arrested over alleged terror bombing plot

Shin Bet, police say investigation of 17-year-old from Umm al-Fahm led to arrests of two West Bank men; bomb-making materials seized

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli troops arrest a wanted Palestinian in the West Bank, early December 8, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Israeli troops arrest a wanted Palestinian in the West Bank, early December 8, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Shin Bet security agency and Israel Police on Friday said they recently foiled an attempt by two Palestinians from the West Bank and an Arab Israeli minor to carry out a bombing attack.

According to a joint statement, the two Palestinians were detained several weeks ago. An indictment is expected to be filed against them next week.

Their arrests followed that of a teenager from the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, who has since been charged for alleged affiliation with an unnamed terror group and possession of bomb-making materials.

The 17-year-old’s older bother, 18, was also detained, on November 28, but was later released without charge under restrictive conditions.

At their home, police said officers found “diagrams and chemical materials for making explosive devices.”

Full details of the teen’s indictment were withheld by the court as the identity of the minor is barred from publication.

The statement said the interrogation of the Umm al-Fahm teen led to the arrest of the two West Bank Palestinians, both in their 20s.

The pair are set to be charged by a military court with affiliation with an unnamed terror group and other security offenses related to the planned bombing attack, the statement said. Their identities were not immediately published.

The arrests came at a time of rising violence in the West Bank, with the military pressing on with an anti-terror offensive following a series of terror attacks that left 31 people dead in 2022.

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early December 20, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The military’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It has also left over 170 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another four since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

In November, the Israel Defense Forces said the arrest operations had foiled some 500 terror attacks over the past year.

Also on Friday, the IDF and Shin Bet said troops had recently arrested several suspects over a shooting attack at the West Bank settlement of Shaked on December 23. One home was damaged by the shooting, which caused no injuries.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group claimed responsibility for that attack, but did not provide evidence.

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