Our feet are standing within thy gates, O Jerusalem; (Psalms 122:2)
Two Arab-Israeli men in their twenties, after being apprehended by Israeli police, admitted to plotting a terror attack at the popular tourist and native shopping mall next to the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, Mamilla Mall, police sources revealed on Sunday. According to The Times of Israel, the two men, who were cleaning staff at the mall, planned to use their inside knowledge and access of the area to plant a bomb in a garbage can during the upcoming busy holiday season in Israel.
The two men are residents of Shuafat and Ras Al-Amoud, two East Jerusalem neighborhoods, and therefore have blue Israeli identity cards, allowing them access to Jerusalem without going through the security check that most West Bank Palestinians must undergo, the Times reported. They were arrested a number of weeks ago in a joint operation between the Israel Police, Border Police, IDF and the Shin Bet security agency.
The suspects were reportedly recruited by a Hamas cell operating out of Ramallah. In the course of the operation, the IDF uncovered the Ramallah cell’s bomb-making facility.
Three additional men, apparently from the Hamas cell, were arrested in connection with the plot, which was already at an advanced stage of planning when it was foiled, according to police.