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Bomb Plot Thwarted in Southern Israel Announced Day After Twin Bombings in Jerusalem

A day after twin bomb attacks on bus stations in Jerusalem, Israeli security forces announced that it arrested a Gazan man who had a permit to enter Israel who was planning to plant a bomb on a bus in southern Israel. Fathi Ziad Zakot, said to be recruited by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, was arrested late last month while in possession of the bomb-making equipment. Because of the attempt, entry permits for some 200 residents of Gaza who are related to terrorists have been revoked by COGAT, the Israel Defense Forces’ Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, until further notice. Also on Thursday, an 18-year-old Israeli walking in the southern city of Beersheba was injured when a 39-year-old resident of the Bedouin-majority city of Rahat drove his car on the sidewalk and hit the teen, a student at the Israeli Air Force Technological College. The teen was not yet enlisted in Israel’s military, but wore a uniform required by the college. The attack has been determined in an initial investigation to be intentional, and it is believed to be nationalistic, bolstered by several videos the driver posted on TikTok in recent days. Meanwhile, early on Thursday morning, the body of a Druze Israeli teen whose body was snatched from a hospital in Jenin by Palestinian gunmen was turned over to his family by the Palestinian Authority on what would have been his 18th birthday. A senior IDF officer told Israeli reporters that there were no negotiations with the terrorists and that Israel only asked the Palestinian Authority to effect the return of the body. The teen’s father and uncle told Israeli media outlets that he was alive – in serious but stable condition after several surgeries – when taken by the gunmen. They say that he died after the gunmen disconnected him from a ventilator.