Cleared for publication: An explosive lab was uncovered about a month ago in a grocery store's warehouse in the village of Abu Dis, near Jerusalem. The material found included explosive devices and hollow pipes, which were slated to be used for the production of rockets.
Three suspects were arrested during the operation, which was conducted by the Border Guard, Shin Bet and Israel Defense Forces. The suspects were taken in for questioning by the security forces.
The lab was uncovered following intelligence information received by the defense establishment. A force of the Duvdevan special elite unit and the Shin Bet arrived at the village in order to arrest three people suspected of being involved in terrorist activity.
During the activity, a Border Guard force directed to the force to a grocery store, where they uncovered the explosives lab. According to the Border Guard, the lab included raw material for the production of explosive charges and hollow pipes where apparently slated to be used for building rockets.
'Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim targeted'
Chief Superintendent Uri Boteh, commander of the Border Guard's Abu Dis company, told Ynet, "We are convinced that the terror which was slated to come out from this explosive lab was directed at Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim."
He said that the Border Guard fighters "knew that the suspects owned a grocery store and therefore searched the store's warehouses. In one of them they found a series lab of explosive materials, including material for the production of charges, chemical substances, wires and hollow pipes for high-trajectory fire."
Asked whether the Abu Dis area was turning into a stronghold of terrorist activity, he replied, "There is a rise in the number of events. What is happening on the Temple Mount and in Judea and Samaria has an influence too, but we constantly alert and continue working."
In recent years, the security services have uncovered several attempts to build rockets in the West Bank, but the rockets were relatively primitive compared to the ones produced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
This wasn't the first time that Israel uncovered attempts by terror organizations to develop rockets in the West Bank and its surroundings, or import them to the West Bank. About three and a half years ago, a hollow rocket, which did not include explosives, was found in the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin. The same year, Palestinian gunmen tried to launch a rocket from Tulkarem into Israel, but failed.
Last July, the Beersheba District Court sentenced Gaza resident Sharif Ziada to two life sentences and another eight years in prison, after convicting him of attempting to move the Qassam rocket lineup to the West Bank.