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Israeli joint security operation 'uncovers terror cell' in Jerusalem, West Bank

Nov. 11, 2016 9:34 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 12, 2016 9:59 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli security forces claimed to have uncovered a “terrorist cell,” comprised of Palestinian members from occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to Israeli media.

The information was reportedly cleared by a military censor for publication on Thursday evening, according to the Israel National News website.
The news site reported that the Israeli army, the Shin Bet -- Israel’s internal security agency -- and Israeli police, conducted a joint operation over the course of the past three months that led to the arrest of “nine Arab terrorists.”

The nine Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of being responsible for “numerous bombing attacks targeting Israeli security forces,” as well as based on alleged evidence found suggesting the group was “preparing for future attacks.”

Israeli forces claimed that a resident of East Jerusalem’s Old City and a member of the alleged cell admitted that he had planned to smuggle gunpowder from the West Bank to Jerusalem for the production of new explosive devices.

According to Israel National News, Israeli forces raided a facility used for the production of pipe bombs and confiscated equipment, which include “a number of explosive devices and some 120 kilograms of raw materials.”

A spokesperson for the Shin Bet said they were looking into reports.

It remained unclear exactly which bombing attacks the nine Palestinians were allegedly responsible for.

Since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied West Bank and Israel there have been a small number of cases of attempted bombing attacks, while the bulk of the violence has been characterize by small-scale stabbings and attempted stabbing attacks.

Two Palestinians were killed while committing attacks with incendiary or explosive devices, while two more Palestinians killed while allegedly committing attacks with incendiary or explosive devices.

Meanwhile, no Israelis were recorded as being killed by Palestinians committing, or attempting to commit attacks with incendiary or explosive devices.

Since the violence began in October 2015, 238 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, while 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians.

Israel’s response to attacks and alleged attacks -- both large and small -- such as punitive home demolitions, the sealing of entire villages, mass detention campaigns, and withholding the bodies of Palestinians slain while committing attacks, has been condemned by rights groups, who have said the measures amount to “collective punishment” and represent a clear violation of international law.

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