(Communciated by the IDF Spokesman)
On May 24, 2005, during the afternoon, a 15-year-old Palestinian youth arrived at the Hawara crossing from the direction of Nablus. The youth aroused the suspicion of IDF soldiers at the crossing, who then asked the youth to open a bag he was carrying. Two pipes, suspected by the soldiers to be explosives, were found in the bag. Border Police sappers who arrived at the scene detonated the bag in a controlled manner, and confirmed that the objects were in fact pipe bombs.
This is the 15th incident in the past two months in which Palestinian youths under the age of 18 attempted to detonate explosive devices at crossings in the West bank, or smuggle weaponry via the crossings.
Attempted terror attacks in which Palestinian youths were used by terror organizations to carry out attacks that have been thwarted in the past two months:
- April 5, 2005 – Two Palestinian youths arrived at the foot of Mount. Grizim, southwest of Nablus, and attempted to detonate three pipe bombs. One of the youths attempted to stab an IDF soldier who tried to arrest him.
- May 9, 2005 – Six fire bombs were uncovered in the bags of two Palestinian youths at the Hawara crossing.
- April 12, 2005 – A 15-year-old Palestinian youth tried to detonate a pipe bomb at IDF soldiers at the Hawara crossing. Four additional pipe bombs were uncovered on the youth as the soldiers asked him to take off the large coat he was wearing.
- April 22, 2005 – Four pipe bombs were uncovered by IDF soldiers in the bag of a 17-year-old Palestinian who arrived at the Beit-Furick checkpoint, southeast of Nablus.
- April 27, 2005 – 11 pipe bombs and an improvised rifle were uncovered in the bags of two Palestinian youths at the Jalame crossing, north of Jenin. The youths, age 15 and 16, intended to detonate the bombs at IDF soldiers at the crossing.
- April 29, 2005 – A 16-year-old Palestinian youth carrying an improvised rifle was stopped at the Hawara crossing.
- May 12, 2005 – A Palestinian youth carrying an improvised rifle was stopped at the Hawara crossing.
- May 20, 2005 – A knife and rifle bullets were uncovered as IDF soldiers conducted a routine search at the belongings of a 17 year old Palestinian youth at the Hawara crossing.
- May 22, 2005 – A 14-year-old Palestinian boy arrived at the Hawara crossing, and aroused the suspicion of the soldiers at the crossing. An explosive belt constructed of two pipe bombs was uncovered under the youths’ shirt during the security check. The youth was carrying a lighter and apparently intended to detonate the explosive belt at the checkpoint.
Attacks such as these disrupt the daily life of Palestinians passing via the West Bank crossings, and emphasize the importance of the security checks conducted at the crossings.
Approximately 50 Palestinians under the age 18 involved in terror activity have been arrested since the beginning of 2005.