(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

In the afternoon hours of February 3, 2005, a 15-year-old Palestinian youth was identified acting suspiciously at the Haware crossing, south of Nablus. An IDF officer asked the youth to open the bag he was carrying. When the contents of the bag were identified to be of a potentially explosive nature the people at the crossing were asked to clear the area and sappers were called to the scene.

An explosive belt, an improvised rifle and 20 bullets found in the bag were detonated in a controlled manner by sappers. The youth was taken for questioning.

It should be emphasized that this thwarted attack is yet a further example of the fundamental importance and efficiency of the security crossings surrounding Nablus. It was thanks to the alertness of the soldiers at the crossing that a terrorist attack was thwarted.

Previous incidents at the Hawara crossing:

On December 26, 2004, two youths were arrested at the Hawara crossing, carrying two explosive devices in a bag. The devices contained both explosive material and shrapnel, and were intended for use in attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the region. Both devices were detonated in a controlled manner by sappers.

Similarly on December 12, 2004, IDF and ISA forces at the crossing uncovered an explosive bag hidden in a cupboard, that was being transported in a furniture truck on its way to Jerusalem from Nablus.

On March 24, 2004 a terrorist attack was thwarted at the Hawara crossing: IDF soldiers identified a Palestinian youth acting suspiciously at the checkpoint. He was found to be wearing an explosive belt. The boy was 16.

On March 15, 2004, a 12 year old boy carrying an explosive device was stopped at the Hawara crossing. Tanzim operatives from Nablus took advantage of his innocent appearance and used him as a courier to transport an explosive device containing a large amount of explosives and shrapnel through the crossing.