Photo: IDF Spokesman
Bomb belt (archive photo)
Major Palestinian terror attack thwarted
Security forces find, neutralize bomb belt packed with shrapnel, say Islamic Jihad terror cell planned to carry out suicide attack on Gush Katif

A major terror attack was thwarted Wednesday evening when security forces found a explosive belt weighing eight kilograms near Gush Katif.


An Islamic Jihad cell hid the explosives, which were supposed to be picked up by suicide bombers and used during the disengagement to carry out a suicide attack in Gush Katif, the army said.


The military’s Gaza division and the Shin Bet located the belt, which was packed with shrapnel, on a roof in the Mouasi area in the Gaza Strip.


The discovery was made following the arrest of ten Palestinians in the area, who are suspected of belonging to the terror cell behind the attempted bombing.


Controlled explosion


Two members of the cell were to act as suicide bombers, army officials said.


The cell behind the failed operation is part of the Palestinian terror infrastructure, which dug a tunnel designed to attack Neve Dekalim with explosives last month.


The explosive belt was neutralized with a controlled explosion by army sappers shortly after 19:00 Wednesday evening.


Sources in the IDF said the incident proves that despite coordination with the Palestinians on the disengagement from Gaza, the responsibility for the security of residents of Gush Katif still falls on the army until the end of the pullout.


The IDF’s Southern Command chief, Dan Harel, praised security forces for preventing the attack, saying he was “very glad that we stopped it.”


“If the attack had taken place, it could have seriously affected the disengagement,” IDF commander Colonel Avi Peled told Ynet.