Israeli Border Police officers apprehended a Palestinian man wearing a suicide belt at the Tapuach Junction near Nablus on Friday morning, thwarting a potential terror attack, Israel Hayom reported. Israeli forces cordoned off the area fearing the presence of additional explosive devices. Sappers were dispatched to the scene to defuse the device.
The incident began at 10 a.m., when Border Police officers stationed at the roadblock at Tapuach Junction identified a man wearing an oversized coat approaching them. The coat aroused officers’ suspicion since it was a particularly hot day. In keeping with routine protocol, they asked the man to remove his coat from a distance.
The man, a Nablus resident in his 20s, refused at first, but ultimately confessed to carrying explosives. The suspect was subdued and taken to Shin Bet security agency facilities for interrogation. No one was hurt in the incident.
According to experts, the device was made up of 12 pipe bombs strung together. The sappers also confiscated a mobile phone suspected to have been programmed to trigger the explosives.
The commander of the Border Police’s Alon Battalion, which handled the incident, said that it was “not yet clear what the suspect intended to do, or whether he was in fact a suicide bomber.”
Following the incident, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch spoke with the officers who apprehended the suspect and congratulated them. “You prevented a terror attack and saved lives,” he said. “I am proud of you and your excellent work.”