On Thursday night a Tel Aviv magistrate court allowed the media to report that, a few hours after a bus exploded in a densely populated neighborhood in downtown Tel Aviv, the perpetrators had been captured in a combined effort of police, the ISA and the IDF. It was revealed that the man who planted the explosive charge on the Dan 142 bus was a naturalized Israeli Arab and his operators were Arab residents of Judea and Samaria. Police also arrested the terrorist’s employer, whose vehicle had been used to transport the bomb.
Immediately following the explosion, in which 29 people were injured, security forces launched a chase after the perpetrators throughout the Tel Aviv region, after police explosives experts discovered that the charge which had been concealed under one of the bus seats was activated with a cellular phone, and GSS investigators identified the call as coming from the Arab village of Beit Lakia in Judea and Samaria.
A SWAT team located the terrorist who planted the bomb and his employer, a resident of East Jerusalem, who is suspected of driving him in his car, to help him cross from Israel to the PA governed territory near the Maccabim checkpoint. The two were stopped and arrested. A short while later the SWAT team, together with IDF and GSS forces entered several homes in Beit Lakia and arrested the members of the terrorist cell that plotted the attack.
The three cell members from the village, who are associated with the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, admitted during their interrogation that they intended to hurt Israeli civilians. In preparation for the attack the cell members purchased cellular phones which were used to activate the explosive charge from a distance. The interrogation revealed that after the cell had been organized, they approached an Israeli Arab, a resident of the Arab city of Taibeh, who was born in Beit Lakia but received Israeli citizenship following his marriage to an Israeli Arab woman.
That Israeli Arab used his employer’s car to reach Tel Aviv, then placed the charge on the bus and alerted the leader of the cell, who was in Beit Lakia, and the latter ignited the charge via the cellphone connection.
Both the perpetrator and his employer admitted the charges against them.