- Israel Security forces say they broke up a Hamas terror cell
- Cell was responsible for an April 18 suicide bombing in Jerusalem, officials say
Six men ranging in age from 19 to 30 were arrested around Bethlehem as they were planning to get weapons and explosives for more attacks, the Israel Security Agency (ISA) said in a statement Sunday.
One suspect, Mahmud Sami Abed Al-Azah, produced the explosive device used in the April bus attack after "he saw an instructional video on the Internet" and got help from another suspect, according to the ISA statement.
The group then recruited a suicide bomber and prepared him to get into Jerusalem and carry out the attack, the ISA said.
On April 18 Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, a 19-year-old Palestinian from the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem, boarded a bus in Jerusalem and detonated a suicide bomb. Hamas in the West Bank claimed responsibility for the attack.
At the time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to find those behind the attack. "We will discover who prepared this explosive charge, we will reach those who sent them," he said. "We will hold these terrorists accountable."
In the weeks before the suicide bombing the number of attacks in Israel, including random stabbings, had sharply declined.
The last large-scale bus attack in Israel came in 2006, when an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber set off a blast at the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, killing himself and nine victims.