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January 6, 2014 1:55 pm

Bat Yam Bus Bomb: Hole in Security Fence Used by Terrorists to Infiltrate Israel Was Well Known

avatar by Gidon Ben-zvi

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Israeli police and rescue personnel at the scene of an explosion on a passenger bus in Bat Yam, near Tel Aviv, on Dec. 22, 2013. The bomb was part of a recent upsurge in Palestinian terrorism that runs parallel to Israel-Palestinian conflict negotiations. Photo: Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90.

A breach in the security fence separating Israel from Palestinian Authority controlled areas that terrorists infiltrated in an attempt last week to bomb a Bat Yam bus, was known to security officials for at least four months, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Monday.

The hole in the fence that the terrorists used to enter Israeli territory had been revealed on the ‘Six’ news program, broadcast on Channel 2. On August 19 2013, Channel 2 News broadcast a video that showed how this gap in the fence was routinely being used by Palestinian Arabs in order to enter and leave Israel.

At the time of the broadcast, an IDF spokesman, Defense Ministry spokesman and a representative of the IDF’s Southern Command were asked to comment on this major security lapse. Each member of the various branches of Israel’s security establishment responded reassuringly, saying the matter was known and being dealt with.

Three follow-up broadcasts were aired on Channel 2 and the hole in the fence still hadn’t been sealed. According to Monday’s Channel 2 report, the responses of security officials each time were identical to those of the August broadcast, “Everything’s under control. There’s nothing to worry about.”

Last Friday, Israeli police and security forces captured the terrorist cell that had placed a bomb on a bus in Bat Yam two week ago, uncovering a Palestinian Authority policeman as a member of the cell.

According to a statement issued by the Shin Bet and IDF, as cited Monday by Channel 2, the terrorist suspect first left Bethlehem and then traveled to South Hebron, where he crossed the security fence through a hole and into Israel. Once inside Israel, the terrorist then rode to the city of Jaffa and from there to Bat Yam, with the intent of planting an explosive device on a public bus.

In response to Monday’s Channel 2 report, an IDF spokesman said: “The phenomenon of illegal aliens is well-known and being addressed. Security forces operate overtly and covertly in order to prevent illegal crossing.”

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