Security forces have arrested 14 members of an Islamic Jihad terrorist group from Bethlehem who is suspected of blowing up a bus in Bat Yam last month, it was cleared for publication on Thursday.
The passengers of the bus narrowly escaped the December 22 bombing when an alert passenger informed the driver of a suspected package on the bus. The driver evacuated the bus while another passenger looking inside the bag found what he said looked like a pressure cooker with a red wire coming out of it.
According to the Shin Bet, during their interrogations, the detainees admitted that in recent months the group decided to carry out a mass killing in Israel.
The four central suspects arrested are Yosef Salamah, 22, Sahaha Tamari, 24, his brother Hamadi Tamari, 21 and Sami Harimi, 20.
The bomb was created by the Hamadi brothers and Yosef Salamah. They used 2 kg of improvised explosives, nails and screws and attached it to a cellular operating system for remote operation.
The bomb was delivered to Harimi, hidden inside in a black handbag. On the morning of December 22 Harimi traveled to the southern Hebron hills and illegally crossed over the border to Israel.
Harimi then got into the car of a Bedouin Israeli citizen and was driven, along with other men that had crossed with him, to Jaffa. After praying in a mosque, Harimi got on the Dan bus line 240, put the bomb in the center of the bus and got off the bus. A few minutes later he called the cellular device attached to the bomb to set it off.
During his interrogation Harimi, who was arrested in Bethlehem on December 26, stated his intention to commit a larger act of terror in the Tel Aviv area around the same time period. His arrest prevented him from doing so.
During the interrogation of Hamadi, police uncovered 20 kg of explosives near his home.
The investigation is still in progress and more arrests are expected.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commended the Shin Bet, IDF and the police for acting quickly to capture the terror cell that planted the bomb on the bus in Bat Yam.
“One of the members of the cell was a policeman in the Palestinian police,” Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page.
“This is another proof to the direct involvement of the Palestinian Authority in terror. It is time [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas stops celebrating with released murderers and led his people to peace,” he added.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Security-forces-nab-Islamic-Jihad-members-suspected-of-planting-Bat-Yam-bus-bomb-336968