Security forces on Monday temporarily placed dozens of roadblocks in southern Israel and declared a state of emergency, prompted by an anonymous warning about a young woman intending to imminently commit a terror attack that was later revealed to be false.
Police soon announced that a different suspect had been located and arrested by forces working in the area. An initial investigation showed that the original suspect had not entered Israeli territory. Emergency roadblocks were removed.
A fuller picture of the incident emerged after an initial investigation, which suggested that a Palestinian had called authorities in the morning and claimed a female terrorist with an explosive belt was making her way to Israel. It was unclear whether the Palestinian, who was on his way to work at a kibbutz in the Gaza border community area, had impersonated a woman and spoken to police in a feminine voice. Authorities were examining the possibility that the whole event was a hoax.
Security forces successfully intercepted the Palestinian who called police while he was on his way to work. They arrested him for questioning by the Shin Bet.
The roadblocks were placed between the city of Sderot and Ashdod, further north. Following the announcement of a state of emergency, hundreds of police officers were sent to main traffic arteries. Law enforcement personnel made sweeps in towns in the area. Authorities released an image of a suspect, named as Diana Hamad.
A similar case occurred last Tuesday, when Herzliya was the site of a large manhunt after a young man who threatened to commit a terror attack and abandoned his car in the central Israeli city. It eventually transpired that the Palestinian had argued with his father, leading him to make the threat. He left his home in the early morning, drove through a checkpoint near Jerusalem and continued to central Israel. A local recognized him from media reports and notified authorities.