By Middle East Affairs
Israel said on Wednesday it found explosives in a Palestinian truck that were meant to be smuggled from West Bank and probably for use in an attack on Independence Day, Reuters reported.
Israelis will celebrate the holiday Thursday outdoors in public areas and parks for the Jewish state’s 70th anniversary.
The “powerful explosive device” was hidden in the roof of a truck that was also loaded with other goods, according to the Defense Ministry, which said the suspects were caught at the Reihan checkpoint in West Bank.
Haaretz said the truck’s cargo was marked as “intended for border communities” and contained agricultural supplies for rural communities in central Israel.
Security forces raided the driver’s home, and the news agency said officials were unclear whether someone inside Israel had been waiting for the truck.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman praised “the vigilance and professionalism,” Reuters said, of the guards who were able to “uncover the device and foil a large attack.”
“We will hunt the evil-doers who planned to attack on our holiday. They will not have a day or night’s rest until we lay our hands on them,” he said.
Palestinians mourn Independence Day because it represents for them when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced in a May 1948 war between newly founded Israel and its Arab neighbors.