Shin Bet Thwarts Bus Bombing Plot in Pisgat Ze’ev

YERUSHALAYIM -

A resident of the Palestinian refugee camp of Shuafat was arrested after being caught planning a series of terrorist attacks, including a bus bombing, the Shin Bet security agency released for publication on Thursday.

The bombing was targeted for the northern Yerushalayim neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, and he intended to carry out stabbings of Israeli soldiers at different locations.

The terrorist, named as Ibrahim Julani, 22, was in contact with a senior Hamas official in Gaza in connection with the plot. He also transferred to the official a list of names of potential recruits for the terrorist organization.

Hamas supplied him with a Kalashnikov rifle, with which he planned to execute an attack at a large supermarket in Yerushalayim where he had once been employed.

In addition, Julani was trained in the handling of an explosive device, to be used against border police at a checkpoint near Hizma, on the road between Yerushalayim and towns in the Binyamin region. The central bus station in the capital and the heavily trafficked Malka Mall were also found on his list of targets.

However, after surveying the target areas, Julani informed his Hamas handlers that gaining entry to the central bus station and the mall would be too difficult because of the tight security. Instead, he proposed the bus attack in Pisgat Ze’ev, for which he received approval. It was to be a suicide bombing.

The terrorist obtained the raw materials for the making of the bomb, along with nails and batteries. But the entire cache was confiscated by his parents, who opposed the plan for fear that the state would demolish their house in retaliation.

Undeterred, Julani pursued the bombing plot, and then went to Chevron to meet with Hamas operatives who provided him with explosive materials. Subsequently, he picked a date for the attack.

That was postponed after it turned out that the date chosen was close to a Muslim holiday, making it likely that the Israeli security forces would close off access to Har Habayis following the attack. It was put off for several weeks.

In the meantime, b’chasdei Shamayim, security forces were able to track down the terrorist and other members of the cell, relatives of Julani, and seize their weapons.