JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Wednesday it had found explosives hidden in a Palestinian truck that were due to be smuggled from the occupied West Bank and used in an attack on the Jewish state’s Independence Day.
The Defence Ministry said guards at the Reihan checkpoint in the northern West Bank found a “powerful explosive device” hidden in the roof of a Palestinian truck loaded with other goods.
On Thursday, many Israelis will head outdoors to celebrate with barbecues in parks and other public sites to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state.
Defence Minister Avigor Lieberman praised “the vigilance and professionalism” of checkpoint guards who had managed 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 see Israel’s independence as their “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced amid violence culminating in war between newly created Israel and its Arab neighbors in May 1948.
(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Alison Williams)