Palestinian security forces thwart major terror attack on IDF
Two anonymous sources familiar with the investigation tell Yedioth Ahronoth an extremely powerful bomb, packed with nails, was planted near Route 443 and intended to hit a military convoy in a bid to sabotage upcoming ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas; Methods used in the attempted attack are also those employed by Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
Two sources familiar with the attempted bombing who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue confirmed the details that were first published in Yedioth Ahronoth on Friday morning.
The bomb was found on the side of a road between the Palestinian villages of Beit Liqya and Beit 'Anan, south of Route 443 in Area C, which is under full Israeli control.
IDF convoys frequently travel on the road while on their way to carry out military operations in Palestinian villages such as overnight arrests of wanted terror suspects.
The bomb was assembled with two gas canisters which were attached to an explosive device and contained a large number of nails.
It was discovered by the Palestinians security forces and dismantled by the Palestinian engineer units. According to the officials, the Israeli security forces were made aware of the bomb immediately.
The incident is still under full investigation and initial suspicions indicate that the methods used in the attempted attack are also those employed by Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
Beit Liqya is home to a small number of activists affiliated with Islamic Jihad, but security forces are also examining the possibility that others are affiliated with Hezbollah terror group and are seeking to ascertain whether or not they were responsible for planting the bomb.
One of the sources said that the working assumption is that the people who planted the bomb sought to carry out the attack in the immediate future during the days on which the negotiations were set to take place between Hamas and Israel to put an end to months of fighting that have threatened to drag the two sides into another conflict.
The size of the bomb suggested an intention that the attack was supposed to be extremely powerful and to inflict many casualties.
As far as is known, the incident is the second time that the Palestinian security apparatus has exposed bombs planted on the roads which were intended to blow up IDF forces.
At the beginning of the year, the Palestinian Security Services uncovered 12 barrel bombs planted along a road in the Tulkarm area, a Palestinian security source told Ynet.
The explosives were found on a road connecting the Palestinian villages of Attil and Illar in Area A of the West Bank, which is under complete Palestinian Authority control.