Border Police apprehend young Palestinian in Tapuah Junction wearing a jacket despite high temperatures; in separate incident, at least two shots fired at car near Adam settlement in the West Bank.
By Gili Cohen and Yaniv Kubovich
Israeli forces detained on Friday a young Palestinian man in the West Bank who was wearing a suicide belt. A bomb disposal unit which was sent to the scene confirmed that it contained standard explosive powder.
At about 10:30 A.M., a Border Police force stationed near Tapuah Junction, south of Nablus, noticed a Palestinian man approaching their location. Despite the high temperatures on Friday, the man was wearing a heavy coat. The force then ordered the Palestinian to halt and to remove his coat, at which point they noticed that some iron pipes were placed inside the jacket.
After the man was apprehended the Border Police said he admitted to wearing an explosive belt. The suspect, a resident of a refugee camp near Nablus in his 20s, was immediately arrested and sent to be interrogated. The man arrived at the junction from Hawara by taxi.
“We don’t have the whole picture yet,” an officer with the Samaria Regional Division said. “It’s not clear that the target was Tapuah Junction, he may have been waiting in the junction for someone to pick him up.”
The GOC Central Command’s working assumption is that the man is not associated with a terrorist organization, but was acting on his own.
Shortly after the incident it was unclear what the man’s intensions were. Border Police Chief Superintendent Shlomi Yosef said that the forces were examining whether he was on a suicide mission, but added that the awareness of the Border Police force on site and the soldiers’ professionalism “probably prevented a major disaster.”
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch spoke to the soldiers that arrested the Palestinian and told them he was proud of them and of their work, according to a statement posted on his Facebook page.
Later on Friday, two shots were fired at a vehicle near the Adam settlement in the West Bank. At least one of the shots hit the car, but no injuries were reported. Security forces were searching the area after the incident.