Thursday, March 30, 2023

Security forces neutralized a terrorist who carried out the terror attack adjacent to the Megiddo Junction.

A terrorist found with multiple weapons and wearing a suicide belt this past Monday was neutralized after a roadside bomb in Northern Israel had been detonated. IDF security forces operated to locate the person who planted the device. It was unknown at press time how the terrorist entered Israel.

The explosive device was detonated adjacent to the Megiddo Junction (route 65), severely injuring an Israeli civilian.

During searches and roadblocks in the area of Moshav Ya’ara (route 899), ISA and Yamam police forces stopped a vehicle, in which an armed terrorist posed a threat to the forces, who neutralized and killed him. The terrorist was found in possession of weapons, including an explosive belt ready to be activated and additional means. The assumption is that due to the neutralization, an additional terror attack was prevented.

According to an official IDF release, the “initial inquiry suggests that the terrorist is presumed to have crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory earlier this week. It was additionally revealed that after the terror attack adjacent to the Megiddo Junction, the terrorist stopped a vehicle and asked the driver for a ride up north. The terror attack is under extensive review, in which the possibility of the involvement of the Hezbollah terrorist army is also under review.”

Reportedly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut an international trip to Germany short on Wednesday and held a security consultation in the afternoon with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. In recent days, the Prime Minister has been updated and was following security developments together with the senior security leadership.

On Wednesday it was reported that Israeli Defense Minister Gallant has provided several situational assessments over the past 36 hours with regard to unspecified “security incidents.”

Gallant’s office released an unusually cryptic statement on Tuesday evening, March 14 revealing that the meetings were attended by top-ranking officials, including Israel Defense Forces chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Ronen Bar.

According to the statement, the officials presented Gallant with preliminary findings related to the incidents, and that the defense minister had instructed them to “continue efforts to ensure the daily routine of Israeli citizens.”

On Wednesday, Gallant briefed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the security developments, ahead of the latter’s departure for a diplomatic visit to Germany.

Netanyahu’s office announced shortly thereafter that the premier would be returning from Berlin on Thursday evening and not on Friday morning as originally scheduled.

The development comes after Israeli authorities launched an investigation into an explosion in northern Israel on Monday that seriously wounded a man driving along the Route 65 highway at the Megiddo Junction. Shareef ad-Din, from the Arab town of Salem, was wounded when an explosive device detonated at around 6 a.m. in an apparent roadside bombing.

The Shin Bet’s involvement in the probe suggests that the defense establishment believes the bombing may have been an act of terrorism.

However, it remains unclear whether the bombing is one of the incidents that prompted the situational assessments.

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