The suspect planted a roadside bomb prior to attempting to escape.
By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner
Details have now been cleared for publication a terror attack on Monday, as reported by TV7 Israel News.
An explosive device was detonated adjacent to the Megiddo Junction (Route 65), severely injuring a 21-year-old Israeli resident of the Arab village of Salem.
During an ensuing manhunt by security forces in the area of Moshav Ya’ara (Route 899), IDF, Israel Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet)and Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit (INCT or Yamam) forces stopped a vehicle driven by the armed terrorist.
He was neutralized by the Israeli forces after posing an imminent threat.
The assailant was found in possession of weapons, including an explosive “suicide” belt ready to be activated. “The assumption is that due to the neutralization, an additional terror attack was prevented,” said an IDF statement.
According to an ongoing investigation by the security establishment, the terrorist was identified as ‘a Lebanese resident of Palestinian origin,’ who crossed the border into Israel earlier this week. It was additionally revealed that after the terror attack adjacent to the Megiddo Junction, the terrorist stopped a vehicle and asked the driver for a ride up north, where he presumably intended to make his way back into Lebanon.
The terror attack is under extensive review, in which the possibility of the involvement of the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in the infiltration.
“I just concluded a situation assessment with the Chief of General Staff, the (Northern) Command Commander, Division Commander and the relevant General Staff officers; We studied the matters which are known to them from all angles. I can say that we are talking about a complex incident with many threads,” stated Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, stressing, “One thing is clear; We will exhaust this investigation and all of its details, even if it takes us a little of time. We have high capabilities, integrative within the security establishment, also within the framework of the field as well as in matters of intelligence. We will know what happens.”
Underscoring that “ a very difficult incident” with the “potential of great damage” had been averted, Jerusalem’s top defense chief praised the IDF commanders, soldiers and ISA operatives and its Director, Israel Police and Border Police “as that they closed this circle and eliminated the terrorist.”
While no definitive conclusions have yet been ascertained as to who masterminded the attack, General Gallant said those involved would “regret executing an attack against citizens of the State of Israel,” vowing, “We will find the right moment and will act in an appropriate manner, and will strike him.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shortened his visit to Berlin on Wednesday, according to his office, which earlier said he had held consultations “on developments in national security.” The statements did not specify whether the rescheduling and consultations were linked. Nor did they provide further details.