Police have arrested two men from the central Israeli Arab city of Taibe in connection with an intelligence report of a possible terrorist infiltration from Samaria.
The alert from the Israel Security Agency (ISA / Shin Bet) warned that terrorists may have infiltrated the Sharon region around Kfar Yona, slightly east of Netanya, intending to perpetrate an attack.
Schools were ordered to keep the children indoors as security personnel continued to search the area. “We are treating this [intelligence] alert very seriously, so we have deployed a large number of forces in the field,” police told the Walla! news site.
Emek Hefer Regional Council head Rani Eden told Voice of Israel public radio that schools were ordered to “remain on alert and vigilant.” Border Patrol officers were deployed outside each school throughout the region, and school gates were closed. Children remained in class.
Roadblocks were set up along Route 57 – the artery that runs from the coastal city of Netanya east towards the Palestinian Authority Arab city of Tulkarem. There were also roadblocks set up farther south, along highways moving into Tel Aviv from the north and in the Glilot area south of Herzliya.
Police were also searching every vehicle heading east, and closed the Tnuvot Junction near Kfar Yona to east-heading traffic. Border Patrol and other elite units were out in force hunting for the terrorists on the ground, while helicopters searched in the skies. The intensive effort paid off and within a short time, security personnel tracked down and caught the driver and terrorist who were heading to their targeted destination, the 0404 website reported.
On August 24, school principal Yussuf Haj Yahya was shot dead by a masked gunman during a staff meeting in preparation for the new school year. The murder took place at the Amal school. Yahya, who was a longtime principal at the school, had apparently also run for mayor of Taibe in 2006. The gunman’s motives were unclear.
Israeli Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi is also a resident of Taibe.