Israel arrests suspect in Tel Aviv bus bombing
Published Thursday 22/11/2012 (updated) 24/11/2012 22:18
An Israeli police officer looks at a damaged bus after an explosion
in Tel Aviv November 21, 2012. (Reuters/Nir Elias)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have arrested a Palestinian citizen of Israel who they suspect is behind the bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv amid Israel's assault on Gaza, an army official said.
The official said the suspect was from Taybe inside Israel and a member of Hamas.
Also arrested, police said, were a number of Palestinians affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on suspicion of having recruited the suspect to carry out the bombing.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld did not give names or an exact number of how many people were in custody.
He said the Palestinian-Israeli notified his Palestinian handlers in the West Bank when the bomb was in place on the commuter bus, and they then detonated the device with a mobile phone.
"The investigation is still under way, and other arrests are expected," the Shin Bet internal security service said in a statement.
Earlier Thursday, the Israeli army said that 55 suspected militants had been arrested in the West Bank, citing a need to maintain calm after a truce ended the Gaza fighting.
The detainees included "senior operatives," the army said in a statement, adding that it would "continue to maintain order ... and prevent the infiltration of terrorists into Israeli communities".
Reuters contributed to this report.