(Communicated by Israel security sources)

On June, 6, 2004, in a joint operation at the Karni Crossing, the GSS and IDF forces arrested Muin Abdel Aziz Atallah, an officer in the Palestinian preventative security service involved in dispatching the two suicide bombers who carried out the suicide attack in the Ashdod Port on March, 14, 2004. Atallah was operating to dispatch another double suicide bombing attack into Israel.

During his investigation, Atallah said that his position gave him access to the whole crossing area, and so was able to smuggle the two suicide bombers who carried out the suicide attack in the Ashdod port. The attack, in which 10 civilians were murdered and 12 others were injured, was directed by the Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades terrorist organizations.

Atallah noted that in the weeks prior to his arrest, the Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades tried to carry out another double suicide bombing into Israel, using the Karni Crossing as the route for smuggling the suicide bombers. Atallah was responsible for arranging the release of the containers from the crossing; the suicide bombers were to be hidden under a double floor within a container.

Atallah said that the terrorist organizations view the Karni Crossing as a weak point, lacking full security checks, and providing an attractive route for smuggling terrorists into Israel. In fact, the Hamas, assisted by Atallah, was planning to purchase trucks and establish a company for transporting containers from the Gaza Strip into Israel and use it as a guise for smuggling terrorists into Israel.

Atallah said that he was arrested a few days prior to the planned attack.