update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Suspect arrested in Samaria roadside bombing

The terrorist is suspected of hiding an improvised explosive under a PLO flag he planted alongside Route 458.

Israeli security personnel in al-Mughayyir, near Ramallah in the Binyamin region of Samaria, Sept. 17, 2020. Credit: Flash90.
Israeli security personnel in al-Mughayyir, near Ramallah in the Binyamin region of Samaria, Sept. 17, 2020. Credit: Flash90.

Security forces arrested the terrorist who planted a roadside bomb that wounded an Israeli reservist in Samaria last month, the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said on Wednesday.

Muhamad Ataollah Abu Alia, 22, from al-Mughayyir, 17 miles northeast of Ramallah, admitted to interrogators carrying out the April 21 attack near Kochav HaShahar in the Binyamin region of Samaria.

During Abu Alia’s arrest, security forces confiscated suspected bomb-making materials from his home.

The terrorist is suspected of hiding the improvised explosive under a PLO flag that he planted alongside Route 458 outside Kochav HaShahar.

The victim, Israel Levy, whom the IDF identified as a reservist on vacation, attempted to remove the banner when the bomb went off. He was treated at the scene and declined to be evacuated to the hospital.

Al-Mughayyir has emerged as a major hub for Palestinian terrorism and extremism in recent months.

Last month, the main mosque in the village broadcasted a speech by Hamas propaganda chief in Gaza Abu Obeida. In it, he called on Palestinians to expand the terrorist group’s war to Judea and Samaria.

One week after the incident, representatives of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem paid a “solidarity visit” to al-Mughayyir.

In the seven months since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led invasion from the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces have arrested approximately 4,000 wanted terrorists throughout Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, including some 1,700 associated with Hamas.

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