image Photo: IMoD

PIJ terrorist arrested for bus bombing plot

A gag order has been lifted on the incident, which occurred just over three weeks ago.

By Erin Viner

The the Israel Security Agency (ISA, Shin Bet) captured a Palestinian resident of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, who had been granted entry into the Jewish State for work purposes.

The suspect, Fathi Ziad Zakot, 31, was arrested on 30 October, the Shin Bet revealed.

During subsequent interrogation, Zakot confessed that he had been recruited by relatives who are members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group to plant a bomb on a bus in southern Israel. After undergoing explosives training in the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Islamist Hamas terror group, he began collecting material to build a bomb. The munitions were confiscated by Israeli security services at the time of his capture.

Zakot was indicted yesterday morning on charges of crimes against the security of the state, possession of illegal weapons, membership in a terrorist organization, training for terrorist purposes, plotting and preparing for the commission of a murderous act of terrorism and contact with a foreign agent.

“The findings of the investigation illustrate once again that the terrorist elements in the Gaza Strip invest a great deal of effort in establishing terrorist infrastructures that undermine regional stability, including the taking advantage of work permits issued by the State of Israel for the purpose of promoting military activity,” stated the Shin Bet.

In response to the attempted attack,  the Unit for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced the denial of entry permits into Israel for about 200 Gaza residents suspected of having family ties to terrorist elements.

“Israel will not allow attempts to exploit the civilian intermediary by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to promote terrorist attacks and will deal with these attempts severely,” said the Shin Bet, while reiterating that Jerusalem holds Hamas responsible for all terrorism that emanates from the territory under its control.

One Israeli was killed and 26 others injured, including several in critically, when two improvised explosive devices were detonated by terrorists at separate locations in Jerusalem on Wednesday. A surviving victim of the twin bombings in the Israeli capital is still fighting for his life. The man, aged around 50, sustained severe head injuries similar to those that killed 15-year-old dual Israeli Canadian citizen yeshiva student, Aryeh Schupak and wounded scores of others.