Haifa was target of bomb in baby carriage
Haifa was the original target of the bomb that exploded Wednesday south of the Qalandiyah checkpoint in the West Bank, killing two Palestinians and wounding six Israeli Border Policemen, interrogation of the three-member terrorist cell has revealed.
The bomb was smuggled inside a baby carriage.
The three suspects, members of Fatah's armed wing in the Jenin region, were all arrested in less than 48 hours after the attack.
Just hours after the blast, 29-year-old taxi driver Bassam Abied of Arabe village was arrested in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Abied gave interrogators information leading to the arrest of another cell member, Mohammed Ayoush, also a 29-year-old taxi driver from Arabe.
Early Friday morning, Border Police located the third suspected cell member, Wail Na'irat, 29, of the West Bank village of Mitlon, hiding out at a mosque in the village of A-Ram, north of Jerusalem. The arrests also yielded a gun that was in the suspects' possession.
The investigation indicates that the attack was planned by the Fatah's senior operatives in Jenin, Zacaria Zubeidah and the cell's direct handler, Mohammed Abu-Khalifa.
They planned to have the bomb detonated at the Talpiot outdoor market in Haifa.
In an attempt to bypass the West Bank separation fence, the three suspects were sent south toward Jerusalem, from where they were to make their way to Haifa. Failing that, they were told to operate in another city within Israel.
The senior Fatah dispatchers gave the explosive device to Na'irat, the designated bomber, and instructed him on detonating it.
Abied drove Na'irat in his cab, whereas Ayoush followed them in another cab, with the the bomb hidden beneath a crate of vegetables.
The plan called for Abied to report back to Ayoush on army checkpoints along the road. Both cabs traveled from the vicinity of Jenin to Tul Karm, then through the village of Atil to the Ramallah bypass road and on to the region of Qalandiyah and A-Ram.
A rented vehicle was waiting for the three at A-Ram, and they allegedly loaded it with the bomb in the baby carriage. However, during the time it took them to get organized and continue on their way, a large number of troops arrived following a terror alert from the Shin Bet. The cell members decided on a change of plan. They moved away from the baby carriage and detonated the bomb when Border Policemen came to examine it. The three terror suspects fled the scene -Ayoush and Na'irat evacuated wounded Palestinians in their cabs to clinics in Ramallah and A-Ram.