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January 5, 2016 1:33 pm

Israeli Police Arrest ‘Unstable’ East Jerusalem Man in Herzliya Planning Attack

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

Aerial view of Herzliya, in central Israel. Photo: Wikipedia

Aerial view of Herzliya, in central Israel. Photo: Wikipedia

An east Jerusalem man was arrested in Herzliya Tuesday morning after telling his family members he was planning to carry out “something drastic” in Israel, Israel’s national public news reported.

The situation apparently began when the suspect, a 20-year-old man from Sur Baher in southeastern Jerusalem with a criminal record, got in a quarrel with his father, told him he was planning to carry out an attack, and then took off in his father’s car toward central Israel, according to Israeli reports.

Police said the suspect — Ahmed Hatib — plowed his vehicle through a security check point in the Jerusalem area before making his way to Herzliya. Once in the city, he abandoned his vehicle and set off on foot.

Law enforcement authorities launched a manhunt for the suspect. Mayor Moshe Fadlon boosted security throughout the city around schools and crowded places, and citizens were told to dial a 100 hotline to report anything suspicious.

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Ultimately, Hatib was spotted by the owner of a real estate office on Sokolov Street in the city center, who said Hatib looked “dazed and panicked, pacing back and forth,” according to Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonoth. The owner alerted police, who arrested Hatib and brought him in for questioning.

The incident came just a few days after another man opened fire on an outdoor pub in central Tel Aviv last Friday, killing two people and wounding eight others before fleeing. A manhunt for the shooter continued into its fifth day on Tuesday.

In addition to last Friday’s attack, Israel has been facing an incessant wave of terrorist attacks against security forces and civilians mostly in the West Bank and Jerusalem, but also in many other major Israeli cities and towns. Several Israeli analysts have pointed out that last Friday’s shooting was more reminiscent of ISIS-style attacks than the stabbings and car-rammings of the last three months of violence.

According to newspaper Israel Hayom, Hatib had a criminal record that included sexual, violent and property-related crimes. Police also said he was known to use drugs and was “unstable,” according to the newspaper.

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