Jerusalem, 5 September 2001

ISA Arrests terrorists responsible for August 31 explosion at Golani Junction
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The ISA (Israel Security Agency), in cooperation with the Israel Police, last weekend uncovered the Fatah Tanzim cell that planted the bomb that exploded at Golani Junction on August 31, 2001.

The cell members are Israeli minors, residents of Deir Hana, who had been enlisted in the Tanzim by operatives from the Jenin area, with whom they had previously been acquainted either through work or via social contacts.

The ISA has so far arrested four youths from Deir Hana for their involvement in the affair, three of whom are only 16. From questioning conducted by the ISA, it arises that two of the members would regularly travel to Jenin via Umm al-Fahm.

In Jenin, they met with Muhammad Abu Tul and Ba’a Karim Aouis, known Fatah Tanzim operatives, who proposed that they become active in the organization. They responded positively and agreed to carry out terrorist attacks, including planting bombs in crowded places and the abduction and murder of IDF soldiers.

at the end of August, two cell members traveled to Jenin, met their handlers and received a prepared bomb to plant at a crowded place in northern Israel. They underwent basic training for this type of operation.

The cell initially planned to plant the bomb at a school in Carmiel and detonate it on the first day of the new school year, but, fearing the security at the school, changed their plans. On Friday, August 31, the two arrived at Golani Junction and planted the bomb at the northbound hitchhiking stop.

The bomb aroused the suspicion of civilians who summoned the security forces; however, the bomb exploded before it could be dismantled.

The ISA views with utmost gravity the ease with which Israeli youths were enlisted into perpetrating acts of terrorism and wishes to emphasize that none of them had prior security records.

The ISA wishes to call attention to the risks stemming from connections between the Palestinian population in the "territories" and Israeli Arabs. This connection is currently being exploited by terrorist organizations which are seeking to rupture the delicate seam in relations between Israeli Arabs and the state.

The naivete of several of the cell members – minors, who were being exploited by seasoned terrorist organization militants without any thought to their ages and the prices they might have to pay – is viewed with alarm.