Major attack foiled: Security forces recovered a 5-kilogram (11 pounds) explosive belt in a vehicle on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway Tuesday, bringing to an end a hot pursuit aimed at thwarting a terror attack.
The heightened terror alert prompted boosted activity by security forces, who proceeded to set up roadblocks in Jerusalem and on the highway connecting the capital to Tel Aviv. Eyewitnesses at the site reported widespread panic in the area where the vehicle was stopped.
Highway drama: Police nab terrorist (Photo: Ofer Amram)
"I found myself in a huge traffic jam. I thought it was an accident," eyewitness Gadi Alfasi told Ynet. "Suddenly I saw five to six police officers with drawn handguns storming a vehicle, and the terrorists coming out with their hands up."
Police said they believe the explosive device was intended for a central Israel target. The GMC vehicle stopped by forces contained 10 Palestinians, who were taken in for questioning by authorities. The vehicle in question was stopped following a pursuit involving a police chopper.
Police detain suspects (Photo: Scoop 80, Yitzhak Elharar)
The terror plot is believed to be the work of an Islamic Jihad cell.
High alert in Jerusalem
Earlier, jerusalem Police raised the terror alert level following a concrete warning about plans to carry out a terror attack in the capital. Meanwhile, roadblocks have been set up on several highways and the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway was blocked to traffic in both directions, as authorities were also contending with terror fears in central Israel.
The defense establishment received intelligence information regarding a plan to launch an attack in Jerusalem or the center of the country. Following consultations, a decision was made to raise the alert level.
Roadblocks have been set up across Jerusalem, with an emphasis on the capital's northern section. Police officers were patrolling the area and suspicious vehicles were being checked.
Following the high alert in Jerusalem, the army also boosted its activities around the capital and boosted security procedures at checkpoints.
The Shin Bet currently deals with 70 warnings of terror attacks, 13 of them defined as "concrete."