Tel Aviv Suicide Bombing Thwarted

YERUSHALAYIM -

Security forces thwarted a Palestinian plot to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, along with terror attacks elsewhere in central Israel.

The arrests of the five conspirators were made during October and November, but was not released for publication until Monday.

The suspects include a woman from Jenin, identified as Yasmin Sha’aban, and four residents of the Tul Karem areas. They were working with an operative from Gaza, who helped guide them in the assembly of explosives, according to the investigators.

“According to the plot that was hatched, Sha’aban was the designated suicide bomber. She was supposed to carry out the attack with an explosives belt hidden in her clothes while disguised as a Jewish woman,” the Shin Bet said.

Sha’aban had intended to obtain an entry permit into Israel for medical reasons, and then use it to carry out a mass casualty bombing of Israeli civilians.

The suspects have confessed to planning the crimes, the Shin Bet said.

Following the arrests, security forces seized a homemade M-16 rifle, a hunting rifle, ammunition, and explosive material.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad planned to claim joint responsibility for the attack, according to the investigation. However, there is no evidence that the central leaderships of Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza were aware of this particular plot.

The suspects also confessed to planning to bomb a bus carrying soldiers and to kidnap a soldier.

Also on Monday, a joint operation of the Shin Bet, Yerushalayim and Border Police led to the arrests of eight Arab suspects in eastern Yerushalayim for using social media sites for urging terrorist attacks on Jews and Israeli security forces.