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Palestinian armed with explosives arrested outside West Bank military court

A photo of a suspected explosive device police said was discovered strapped to a Palestinian by Border Police officers outside the Samaria Military Court in the West Bank, on December 17, 2017
Police Spokesperson
A second pipe bomb was found in the suspect's jacket that was left on the floor near soldiers

Israeli security forces on Sunday arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian man while he was trying to enter a West Bank military court armed with two improvised explosive devices, thwarting an attempted bombing attack on the site.

Border police officers of the Israeli Police and military police stationed at a checkpoint at the entrance to the Samaria Military Court stopped the man who they suspected to be carrying an explosive on his person.

Israeli forces discovered a pipe bomb on the suspect, and while working to diffuse the device, a second explosive was found in the suspect's coat.

Border police later confirmed that the initial device was indeed an actively charged explosive, adding that it was successfully neutralized. Bomb technicians were continuing working to diffuse the second device.

Police also recovered a lighter, apparently intended to light the charges, and a knife from the suspect's coat.

The suspect, who was identified as a 17-year-old resident of the Jenin refugee camp, was detained for questioning by authorities.

The incident comes in the wake of President Donald Trump's controversial declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's rightful capital, which has prompted unrest throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and wider Middle East.

In the Palestinians territories, protests against the move have devolved into violent skirmishes with Israeli security forces.

Four Palestinians were killed over the weekend by Israeli forces during clashes in West Bank and Gaza.

On Friday, a Palestinian wearing what appeared to be a suicide bomb vest was fatally shot after attempting to stab an Israeli border police officer in the West Bank town of Ramallah

That incident followed almost a week after an Israeli security guard was stabbed in the heart at the entrance to Jerusalem's central bus station on Sunday.

Palestinian factions have called for "day of rage" protests against US President Donald Trump's fiercely contested recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital to continue.

Following Trump's declaration, Hamas chief Ismail Haniya called for a new intifada ("uprising" in Arabic) to begin Friday throughout the Palestinian territories.

The call sparked fears that Palestinians would launch both a new wave of "lone wolf" attacks targeting Israelis and possibly larger attacks directed by organized terror groups.

Israel has long claimed all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians see the annexed eastern sector of the city as the capital of their future state.


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