Israel announces arrest of November Jerusalem bombing suspect

Islam Faroukh, a Palestinian mechanical engineer, was arrested a few days after November’s bombing attacks in Jerusalem.

Israeli police inspect the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem
Israeli police inspect the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem on November 23, 2022. Two blasts had gone off near bus stops in Jerusalem, killing two person and injuring at least 13 [File: Mahmoud Illean/AP Photo]

Israeli authorities have announced the arrest of a suspect in the Jerusalem twin bombings that killed two people last month, charging that he identified with the ISIL (ISIS) group.

After a news blackout was lifted, the Shin Bet intelligence service said on Tuesday that the mechanical engineer had already been arrested on November 29.

Islam Faroukh, 26, a Palestinian who lived between Kufr Aqab, a neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, and Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the Shin Bet domestic security agency and the Israel Police said in a joint statement.

“The Shin Bet, the police and the army have arrested Islam Faroukh, suspected of carrying out the bombing in Jerusalem last month,” it said about the attacks that were carried out at two bus stops.

“The suspect acted on his Salafi-jihadi ideology, identifying with the Daesh organisation and acting alone after a long period of preparation in order to target Israeli citizens in Jerusalem,” the statement added, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.

The interrogation revealed that Faroukh acted alone and had prepared the crime for a long time, the statement added, and that he had planned further attacks.

A Carlo makeshift submachine gun and an explosive device were found in the possession of Faroukh, the statement said, adding that he would be indicted “in the coming days”.

According to Israeli police and intelligence, Faroukh had built the explosive devices in the occupied West Bank and had also tested explosions in a pit and hidden materials for the construction of further explosive devices there.

On November 23, bombs exploded in quick succession at two bus stops in the Jerusalem area. An Israeli-Canadian teenager and an Israeli aged in his 50s were killed and 13 others wounded in the first bombings to hit the city since 2016.

The attacks came amid a surge in violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

At least 150 Palestinians and 26 Israelis have been killed this year across Israel, the occupied West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.

At least a further 49 Palestinians died during three days of fighting between armed groups in the Gaza Strip and Israel in August.

More than 30 Israelis have also been killed in attacks by Palestinians.

According to United Nations data, 2022 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians since the end of the second Intifada in 2005.

Source: News Agencies