Israel uncovers Jerusalem bomb plot - Shin Bet
Israeli domestic security agency Shin Bet said on Sunday that had arrested three Palestinian members of militant Islamist Hamas group engaged in a plan to bomb a popular Jerusalem shopping center.
In a joint statement with the miltiary and police, Shin Bet said its agents detained two men from Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem who were working as cleaning staff in Mamilla mall, an upmarket shopping street only meters away from the walls of Jerusalem's historic Old City, according to AFP.
Mamilla mall proves incredibly popular with Israelis, Palestinians and tourists and includes a five star hotel and luxury apartments in the development.
Shin Bet's statement added that they also arrested a Hamas operative from Ramallah, in the West Bank, whose home contained an explosives lab. The man from Ramallah allegedly recruited the Jerusalem men, said to both be in their 20s, according to the statement and AFP.
"They were supposed to bring an explosive charge into Israeli territory," the Shin Bet statement added. "They were to bring it into the mall and hide it in their lockers at their place of work."
The statement alleged that the men planned to plant the bomb in Mamilla mall during the upcoming Jewish holidays, when the shopping area is packed with shoppers and diners. The Hamas members were going to wrap the bomb as a gift and leave it in a shop or restaurant before detonating it, AFP reported.