Shin Bet, IDF, police detain 14 men, including Palestinian policeman, suspected of involvement in last week’s explosion on bus in Bat Yam. Sami Harimi went to pray in mosque in Jaffa, then boarded bus, placed bomb.
Yoav Zitun – YNET Published: 01.02.14, 22:29 / Israel News
It was cleared for publication on Thursday that the Shin Bet, in collaboration with the IDF and police, arrested four senior Islamic Jihad operatives, including one who worked as a Palestinian police officer, suspected of involvement in the blast on a bus in Bat Yam last week.
The four arrested are all residents of Bethlehem. Ten other suspects were arrested for involvement in the attack, including Bedouin from the Negev.
The security forces arrested, 24, Hamadi Tamari, 21, Sami Harimi, 20, and Yosef Salamah, 22. The other 10 suspects were involved in the minor details of the plan.
The Shin Bet’s investigation revealed that during the last months the group decided to pull of a massive terror attack in Israel. The explosive was prepared by the Tamari brothers and Salamah, who used two kilograms of improvised detonation material, nails and screws, and they had a switch attached to a cellphone to activate the bomb remotely.
Harimi was given the bomb, hidden in a black bag, which he took with him on the Sunday morning to the southern Hebron Hills, where he went with other illegal aliens to sneak into Israel. Harimi then got into a Bedouin’s car, an Israeli citizen who helps illegally residing Palestinians in Israel, and took him to Jaffa.
After praying in a mosque in Jaffa, he got on bus no. 240 and laid the bomb inside, got off a few minutes later, and then called the cellphone that was attached to the bomb, which triggered the explosion. The bomb was placed in a pressure cooker, similar to the bomb in last year’s Boston Marathon.
Harimi was arrested a few days later in Bethlehem, admitting his part in the attack, and said that the group of terrorists wanted to pull of a larger attack in Tel Aviv a few days after the Bat Yam explosion, but their arrests canceled those plans. Harimi worked at a restaurant in Jaffa even though he had no work permit.
A senior military official with the Judea and Samaria Brigade told Ynet that “over the past few days we were after that cell of four operatives, including the one who planted the explosive.”
One of the Tamari brothers led the security forces to a cache of explosives near his house.
Upon entering the structure where the explosive was assembled, “we found 25kg of explosives meant for further attacks,” the IDF official said. “This group is knowledgeable on preparing explosive devices.”
According to the official, security forces were familiar with several of the suspects.
The Tamari brothers had already been in prison in Israel. Sahada was a Palestinian police officer who completed the cadets course in Jericho.
Security forces noted that the Bedouin who drove the perpetrator had done so innocently and was not aware of his passenger’s terror plans.
A policeman was lightly injured in the blast in the city of Bat Yam in Israel’s center.
Sappers were working to defuse a bomb in a bag. The dozen passengers on bus no. 240 had been evacuated by the bus driver beforehand, when it became clear that an unclaimed bag with visible wires was a possible danger.