17 April 2002

Explosive charge found in Bethlehem mosque and explosive belts in Ramallah

(Communciated by the IDF Spokesman)

During searches yesterday in the Omar Mosque in Bethlehem, close to the area of the churches, the IDF discovered a powerful explosive charge. The explosive device was intended for use against IDF forces.

The IDF neutralized the explosive device in a controlled detonation. There were no casualties. This case represents yet another example of the cynical abuse of holy places by Palestinian terrorists.

During searches in an apartment this morning in the Manara region of Ramallah, two explosive belts were discovered. A bomb disposal expert neutralized the belts.

The following was also found in the apartment: Palestinian Police uniforms, hundreds of bullets, 10 combat vests, incitement materials, an Islamic Jihad flag and a suicide letter from a terrorist.

The discovery of the belts prevented a large-scale terrorist attack against Israeli civilians and IDF forces.