The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) has lifted a gag order and revealed that security forces arrested 14 suspects, including four senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad members, in the bombing of a Bat Yam bus near Tel Aviv last month.
Two brothers belonging to the Islamic Jihad, Shahada Tamari (previously jailed in Israel), 24, and Hamadi Tamari, a Palestinian police officer (also previously jailed in Israel), 21, and Yousef Salamah, 22, made the remote-control bomb with four pounds of explosives and nails and screws to inflict maximum injuries.
The bomb was in a black bag that they gave to the fourth Islamic Jihad terrorist, Sami Harimi, 20, who took it with him to the southern Hevron Hills, where the security fence is relatively ineffective, with hundreds of Arabs bypassing it every day to enter Be’er Sheva and the coastal regions.
A Negev Bedouin, who carries Israeli citizenship, drove him to Jaffa. Harimi knew the Jaffa-Tel Aviv area well because he worked in a restaurant in Jaffa, without a permit.
The terrorists prayed in a mosque before Harimi boarded a public bus with the bag and then left it there when he got off at another stop.
He then called the mobile phone number that was attached to the bomb, setting it off.
The attack would have caused massive casualties if it had not been for three people who together saved many lives. A child told a passenger that someone had left a bag on the bus, and the passenger in turn was curious and noticed wires sticking out of the bag. He told the bus driver, who immediately cleared everyone off the bus.
Moments later, the bus blew up.
Security personnel arrested Harimi in Bethlehem several days after the attack, and he revealed that the Islamic Jihad terrorists were planning to stage a large-scale terrorist attack in Tel Aviv after the buys bombing.
The investigation by the Shin Bet and the subsequent arrests foiled a second attack, which could have caused a disaster because security personnel found an additional 45 pounds of explosive near the home of one of the Tamari brothers.
More arrests are expected.
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said last week that he will demand that Israel release all terrorists,including those who might be arrested during John Kerry’s peace talk festival.
Kerry landed in Israel Thursday evening, less than six hours before the Shin Bet lifted the gag order on the arrests.