Prevention of Palestinian Islamic Jihad suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv

1. On February 20 a suicide bombing attack, which apparently was supposed to be carried out in Tel Aviv, was prevented. Information reached the Israeli security forces that a suicide bomber had left the village Jalboun (near Jenin in northern Samaria ) in the early morning hours on his way to the center of the country. He was carrying a backpack with a large quantity of explosives and intended to blow himself up in a crowded location (Central Bus Station or shopping mall). The suicide bomber and a number of other suspects were detained in an apartment in Bat Yam (a southern suburb of Tel Aviv).

Muhammad Ibrahim Qassem Ubeid, senior operative on the wanted list of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in Judea and Samaria, who dispatched the suicide bomber to Israel (from the PIJ Website, February 22).

2. The suicide bomber was Omar Abu Roub , 23, a resident of Jalboun. A preliminary interrogation revealed that he reached Rishon Letzion (south of Tel Aviv) in the early afternoon hours of February 20 carrying a backpack with an explosive device he claimed he would detonate, in Tel Aviv . For a reason which is still unclear, possibly a technical fault, he decided to throw the device into a Dumpster in Rishon Letzion. He then went to an apartment in Bat Yam where he knew he could hide and remained there until he was detained. He was then taken to the center of Rishon Letzion and showed the police the Dumpster where he threw the device.

3. In the Jenin refugee camp the following day the Israeli security forces killed Muhammad Ibrahim Qassem Ubeid (Abu Jahim) as he was riding in his car. He was armed with an M-16 and the IDF spokesman reported that a number of explosive devices were found in the vehicle. He was one of the most wanted operatives of the PIJ in northern Samaria and had dispatched the suicide bomber whose attack was prevented on February 20. He was responsible for the recruitment of potential suicide bombers, manufactured high-quality explosive devices and was involved in dozens of attacks using explosives against IDF forces in the Jenin area.

4. The PIJ, directed by its headquarters in Damascus and sponsored and supported by Iran and Syria , continues to be the organization responsible for the greatest number of suicide bombing attacks carried out in Israel . 1 The last, carried out in collaboration with elements within Fatah, was at a bakery in the southern city of Eilat on January 29. As opposed to Fatah and Hamas, the PIJ does not regard itself as committed to restraining its activities in view of political considerations or taking into account the needs of the Palestinian population. Its policy of attacks originating in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, have continued to escalate and have led to the deterioration of the security situation, despite the ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip reached by Israel and Palestinian Authority chairman Abu Mazen.