On Friday evening, a joint operation by the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel’s secret service) and the Israeli police intercepted Jihad Shahada, an 18-year-old would-be suicide bomber from the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. With an explosive belt strapped to his body, he was en route to carry out a bombing in Tel Aviv.
Shahada had crossed the perimeter fence with a 25-year-old Palestinian, who was arrested the following evening at a relative’s home in Jaffa. The two crossed near Kibbutz Nir-Am not far from the Israeli city of Sderot in the western Negev.
A member of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, he had hoped to blow himself up in a crowded Tel Aviv center. Sappers neutralized the five-kilogram bomb in a controlled explosion.
The Fatah terrorist and his accomplice have been handed over to Shin Bet for further questioning. This is only the second time this year a would-be bomber has managed to enter through the northern Gaza barrier, with security forces intercepting 92 others during this time period.