The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced on Thursday that it had foiled a bus-bombing plot.

The would-be bomber, a Gazan with a work permit in Israel, had intended to detonate an explosive device aboard a bus in southern Israel, according to the Shin Bet.

The suspect, identified by the intelligence agency as Fathi Ziad Zakut, 31, of Rafah, was charged on Thursday with severe security offenses.

According to the investigation, Zakut was recruited by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and he received training in handling explosives from a Gazan bomb-making expert. Radical publications were also found in his possession.

After he began entering Israel for work, Zakut allegedly started collecting ingredients for the explosive device.

Fathi Ziad Zakut, 31, of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, was charged in an Israeli court with severe security offenses, Nov. 24, 2022. Credit: Israel Security Agency.

Southern District prosecutors charged Zakut with preparations for a deadly terror attack, possession of weapons, membership in a terrorist organization and providing service to an illegal association, as well as communicating with a foreign agent.

“Israel will not allow attempts to exploit the civilian sphere by terror organizations in the Gaza Strip to promote terror attacks, and will act against these attempts in a severe manner, while viewing Hamas as the responsible party,” said a Shin Bet source.

Acting on Shin Bet recommendations, the Israeli Coordination Unit for Government Activities in the Territories has revoked some 200 work permits for Gazan residents who have family ties to terrorist elements.

Around 17,000 Palestinians from Gaza currently have work permits to enter Israel on a daily basis.

The development comes a day after sixteen-year-old Israeli-Canadian Aryeh Shechopek was killed and more than 20 injured in two explosions at bus stops located near entrances to Jerusalem.

Security forces were being bolstered throughout the capital, with a specific focus on high-density public areas, according to a police statement. The alert level has been raised across the country, according to a police spokesman.

Islamic Jihad praised Wednesday’s twin bombings, saying in a statment that “the operation in the occupied city of Jerusalem is a natural response to the occupation, its terrorism, and its criminal practices against the defenseless Palestinian people and their holy sites.”

The Palestinian terror group added: “The operation says to the leaders of the occupation and the leaders of the settlers that none of the policies of your criminal government will protect you from the strikes of our people’s resistance.”

JNS

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