The bomb trap which seriously injured an Israeli officer at the Hizmeh checkpoint north of Jerusalem Tuesday night was primed for a multiple terror attack. The trap consisted of four iron pipe bombs stuffed with explosives, screws and sharp nails. Another five explosive devices, some of which were attached to a gas canister, failed to explode because of a technical malfunction and so averted a major disaster.
The most likely scenario according to our sources was for the terrorists to spring the bomb trap in two wave: the first four to blow up against the IDF patrol and the rest to hit the responders to the first explosion, including rescue teams, and intelligence and senior officers.
The initial conclusion gained by DEBKA counterterrorism from the data available is as follows:
1. This was no lone wolf event. It was a complex operation carried out by a competent team experienced in the building and placement of rigged explosives. Part of the team hid nearby ready to set off the second wave of pipe bombs.
The plot was hatched in total secrecy. Neither Israeli intelligence nor the police caught any sign of the planned attack. Had there been any suspicion a bomb squad would have inspected the route taken by the IDF patrol in advance.
2. Although the Israeli military sealed off Judea and Samaria for three days starting Tuesday night the eve of Remembrance Day for the Fallen men and women of IDF – like “other sensitive dates” of the year, Palestinian terrorist were nonetheless able to reach their target. It was only by sheer luck that a major disaster was averted. But one young officer paid the price.
Our source reports that this is the first time Palestinian terrorists are known to set up a complicated bomb trap of this kind. It must been assumed that some Palestinian organization received instructions in this skill from Hizballah who practiced it with devastating effect in Lebanon in the late nineties.