An East Jerusalem Palestinian was arrested on suspicion of planning to carry out a shooting attack on a bus carrying police officers near the Temple Mount, the Shin Bet announced on Sunday.
The security service, in conjunction with the police, said they had been investigating 21-year-old Omar Abedin for the past month after he was “suspected to be involved in security activities”.
Abedin is affiliated with Hamas, and was apparently involved with the terror group’s student organization at Bir Zeit University, near Ramallah, the Shin Bet statement said.
The suspect was allegedly in contact with a terrorist operative in Lebanon through Facebook, before the two switched their communications to the more secure Telegram platform.
At some point, Abedin was asked to carry out a shooting or bombing attack, in which he was told that he would be assisted by terrorist groups operating in the West Bank.
“Omar agreed to carry out the attack and decided to target a police-carrying bus in the Temple Mount area,” the statement said.
Har י י י י י י י י י י י י י י י י י י כל ש נגד נגד א מ מ מ ש
— משטרת ישראל (@IL_police) April 2, 2023
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began in March and will end on April 21, has often seen heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions, with friction already high this year in Jerusalem and across the West Bank after months of deadly violence.
In recent years, Ramadan has seen violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians at Jerusalem’s flashpoint of the Temple Mount, which is revered as holy by both Jews and Muslims.
The police were set to file an indictment against the suspect in the Jerusalem Magistrates Court later on Sunday.
“The Shin Bet security service and the Israel Police will continue to take resolute measures to thwart terrorist intentions and to find and expose links aimed at carrying out terrorist attacks outside Israel,” the statement said .