Soldiers thwarted a large bombing in Jerusalem today, Haruv Brigades Commander Lieutenant Colonel Arik said, following the arrest of two Palestinians in the Nablus area.
Specific intelligence obtained by the Shin Bet has led to the deployment of large forces and numerous roadblocks around Nablus, and to an increase of inspections.
During a nightly patrol soldiers from the Haruv regiment identified two Palestinian suspects moving on the road near the village of Burin, south of Nablus. The troops called on the men to stop, and when they began escaping, chased after them. During the pursuit, the suspects dropped a bag.
The Palestinians were eventually apprehended and the bag, recovered by the soldiers, was found to be containing an explosive belt. Sappers were called in to the place and promptly dismantled the device.
An initial investigation revealed that one of the detained suspects was set to wear the explosive belt and detonate himself after reaching a location in central Israel.
Senior IDF officials told Ynet that the intelligence alert that led to the arrest is one of the most severe they have received so far. "This was a joint plan of the Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the Popular Front to carry out a large scale terror attack in Israel," an army source explained.
Al-Aqsa: We were involved in attempted attack
A senior member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades told Ynet that his people were involved in the sending of two Palestinians with an explosives belt, "who were on their way into Israel."
With that, he added that members of his organization who were involved in the preparation of the attack worked independently, in coordination with the Islamic Jihad, and not with the leadership of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
The source added that "the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are making every effort in the recent period to focus resistance to the Israeli occupation within the confines of the West Bank despite the IDF's provocations, the raids into Palestinian communities, and the arrests and killings of Palestinian operatives in the last period."
He said that the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are not planning to swerve from their stance in the coming period, or to "escalate our activities inside Israel, unless Israel returns to carrying out difficult operations against the Palestinian organizations."
He highlighted the division within the organization between those who wanted to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel in response to the latest series of targeted assassinations, including those weighing the use of rockets within the West Bank, and the majority of members of the organization "who up to now continue to be obligated to the focus of their activities within the West Bank."
Meanwhile, 80 general warnings on threats to the security of the residents of Israel, 15 of them considered "focused," are in the hands of the security forces. Most of the warnings come from northern Samaria in the West Bank and the Nablus area, and are attributed to the Islamic Jihad. A further 13 wanted Palestinians were arrested overnight in the West Bank.
A Palestinian terrorist was killed by IDF fire on Monday morning in Gaza, after he tried to approach the electronic fence. IDF forces identified a cell of three terrorists who approached the electronic border fence in northern Gaza near Kibbutz Kfar Aza.
The cell likely planned to carry out an attack in the area. Soldiers opened fire in their direction and one of the terrorists was hit as a result.
A Kalashnikov rifle was found in the area, as well as a ladder, showing the cell's intentions. Two of its members apparently escaped.
Meanwhile, IDF artillery guns fired ten shells at Qassam rocket launching zones in Gaza. The IDF has increased the shelling in the last two days in order to end Qassam rockets attacks on Israel.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report