Fourteen people were killed and some 50 wounded when a car bomb containing about 100 kilograms of explosives was detonated next to a No. 841 Egged bus from Kiryat Shmona to Tel-Aviv, while traveling along Wadi Ara on Route No. 65 towards Hadera, at Karkur junction.
The military wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for the blast, saying that it was carried out by Ashraf al-Asama, 18, and Mohammed al-Hasnin, 19, both from Jenin.
The attack was reminiscent of another bombing organized by leading Islamic Jihad terrorist Iyad Sawalha: the attack at the Megiddo Junction on June 5, in which 17 civilians and soldiers were killed when a booby-trapped car drove up to an Egged bus and exploded.
The recent attacks that have originated in Jenin are characterized by the use of immense quantities of explosive materials like the 100-kg. detonation used in the Karkur car bombing. The main element in the Jenin area initiating these attacks is the Islamic Jihad organization. At the head of its operational wing is Iyad Sawalha, who currently heads Israel’s list of wanted men and who was also responsible for the following attempted attacks:
- A car bomb with sufficient destructive capacity to bring down an Israeli skyscraper.
- An attempted mega-attack by means of infiltrating a car bomb carrying 300 kg. of explosives on Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 5, 2002, that was intercepted by Israeli civilian volunteers.
Until the IDF Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) infrastructure in Jenin was the strongest in the PA territories, mostly due to the massive financial aid it received for its activities from the PIJ leadership in Syria (according to captured documents). The PIJ infrastructure suffered a severe blow with the death of the head of the military infrastructure in Jenin, Mahmud Tu’albe (involved in the perpetration of terrorist attacks, including inside Israel), and the arrest of senior operatives. Amongst the senior oepratives arrested, the most prominent are Ali Safuri (involved in the direction of a large number of terrorist attacks, including suicide and killing attacks inside Israel) and Thabet Mardawi (directed a large number of terrorist attacks, including suicide and killing attacks inside Israel).
The documents captured in the course of Operation Defensive Shield unveil the extensive scope of the terror infrastructures of the various organizations and the terrorist attacks originating from the Jenin area, and principally from Jenin refugee camp. The documents mention attacks which originated in Jenin and the names of the organizations and terrorists who planned them. For example:
1) Thabet Azmi Mardawi, a senior activist in the PIJ military arm, of whom it is written that he "participated in the preparation of a few suicide acts" (Mardawi is now under arrest in Israel. He is responsible for a large number of terrorist attacks, including suicide attacks inside Israel such as the suicide attack in Binyamina [16 July 2001] and the bus explosion in Wadi Ara [20 March 2002]).
2) Ali Suleyman Al-Safuri, a senior activist in the PIJ military arm, of whom it is written that he "has a prominent role in the preparation of explosive belts and charges." Al-Safuri is under arrest in Israel. He is responsible, amongst other things, for the suicide attacks in Binyamina (16 July 2001) and Hadera (28 October 2001).
3) Muhammad Salah Salim Yassin, a senior operative in the PIJ military arm, of whom it is written that he "participated in the perpetration of a few suicide acts." (Yassin, who was involved in fatal terror attacks in Israel, was killed by the IDF on 7 March 2002.)
4) Wa’el Ahmad Jalamnah from the PIJ (he is known to have driven his partner to the suicide attack in "Paris Square" in Haifa [26 February 2002] and succeeded in escaping to Jenin refugee camp). According to a captured document, the two terrorists departed from Jenin refugee camp. According to the document, Jalamnah succeeded in fleeing to Jenin (after the attack in Haifa was foiled and his partner was arrested).
The documents also show evidence of the direction of the PIJ terror infrastructure in the Jenin area by the organization’s headquarters in Damascus. In this framework, one document states that Dr. Ramadan Shalach, the PIJ secretary, transfers large sums of money to PIJ operatives in Jenin, for financial aid to the families of martyrs and also for payment of expenses for suicide and terror attacks, such as attacks in Afula (27 November 2001), whose "sundry expenses" was a sum of $31,000. In addition, a sum of $127,000 is mentioned as aid to support the families of martyrs and activists under arrest.
Major Attacks Carried out by the PIJ Infrastructure in Jenin
- 16 July 2001 – A suicide attack at the Binyamina railway station, killing 2 Israelis and wounding 10.
- 28 October 2001 – A shooting attack in Hadera, killing 4 Israelis and wounding 42.
- 29 November 2001 – A suicide attack at a junction near an army base near Pardes Hanna killing 3 Israelis and wounding 9.
- 25 January 2002 – A suicide attack at the old Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv leaving 23 wounded (in cooperation with Fatah).
- 5 January 2002 – A suicide attack in Afula, killing one Israeli and wounding 15.
- 20 March 2002 – A suicide attack in a bus in Wadi Ara, killing 7 Israelis and wounding 28.
- 10 April 2002 – A suicide attack at the Yagur junction, killing 8 Israelis and wounding 20.
- 5 June 2002 – A car bomb attack on a bus at Meggido junction, killing 18 Israelis and wounding 50.
- 5 September 2002 – A car bomb carrying 300 kilograms of explosives was intercepted near Kfar Glikson.
- 18 September 2002 – A suicide attack at the Umm el-Fahm junction, killing 1 and wounding 3.
- 21 October 2002 – A car bomb attack at Karkur junction, killing 14 Israelis and wounding 50.
Report of the Preventive Security HQ in Jenin regarding the PIJ leadership in Jenin
(28 November 2001)
Click to enlarge original document in Arabic
"The Palestinian National Authority"
Preventive Security HQ
To: Brothers in Jenin District HQ, Homeland Greetings,
Re: The important and prominent activists of the Islamic Jihad in the Jenin district
1. Abd Al Halim Az al Din (Haja), Araba, 35 now resides in Jenin. (He) is considered one of the prominent PIJ leaders in the district. He is in direct contact with the military arm, Al Quds Companies. He constitutes a first rate money channel of the (Islamic) Jihad. As such he finances all the activities.
2. Bassam Ragheb Al Sa’adi, Jenin RC. (an addition with another pen: "the police"). He is considered one of the PIJ leaders in the area; is one of the wealthy residents of the Jenin camp (is considered one of those) very close to Abd Al Halim Az al Din. (Bassam Al Sa’adi) is directly linked to the bringing of money and financing of the PIJ and especially its military side. He has ties with people inside the "Green Line" (Israel).
3. Thabet Azmi Mardawi, Araba, he now resides in Jenin. He is one of the most prominent activists of the PIJ, participated in preparing several suicide attacks.
4. Ali Suleyman al-Safuri, Jenin RC, 37. He is one of the most prominent PIJ military arm activists in the region. He participated in preparing several military operations. He played an important role in preparing explosive belts and explosive charges.
5. Muhammad Faras Bashir Jaradat, from Al Silat al Harithiya, now resides in Jenin (addition in another pen: "the police"). He is considered one of the most prominent persons of the PIJ. He is active on all planes. He is first rate inciter (against the PA).
6. Muhammad Salah Salim Yassin, from Anin, now resides in Jenin. He is one of the most prominent activists of the military arm in the region. He participated in preparing several suicide operations.
7. Sharif Taher Mahyi al Din Tah’ayna, from Al Silat al Harithiya, now resides in Jenin (addition in another pen: "the police"), one of the most prominent PIJ activists in the district. He is prominent in all the conferences of the (Islamic) Jihad as the one representing them. His role consists of providing social, humanitarian and national services.
8. Situation assessment: all the names mentioned above consist of the top of the pyramid in PIJ activity on all planes. They constitute (also) the foundation pillars of incitement against the national authority and its institutions from time to time.
Head of the Preventive Security Directorate
In Jenin 28.11.2001
|Jenin’s Terrorist Infrastructure – Apr 4, 2002|
|Suicide Bombers from Jenin|
|Jenin – Capital of Palestinian Suicide Terrorists – IDF Spokesman, Apr 19, 2002|