Hamas terror cell planned attack on Mamilla mall in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Hamas terror cell planned to carry out a terrorist attack at the upscale Mamilla mall on the cusp of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Shin Bet security service arrested five Hamas terrorists from eastern Jerusalem last month who were planning to carry out the attack on the popular open-air shopping mall during the High Holiday season, it was announced on Sunday.

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Two of the men, Arab-Israelis in their 20s from eastern Jerusalem who work as cleaners at the mall, confessed to planning to plant a bomb wrapped as a gift in a trash can or restaurant over the holiday season. They were indicted in the terror plot on Sunday in Jerusalem.

Mamilla is crowded with tourists and shoppers during holiday times. The open air strip leads directly to the Old City’s Jaffa Gate.

The homemade pipe bomb to be used in the attack was packed with 40 metal pellets in order to inflict the maximum amount of death and injuries. It was manufactured in the Ramallah home of one of the arrested cell members, who has not yet been indicted. A bomb making factory as well as instructions on how to build bombs was found in the house.

The terror cell also was planning other terror attacks, including planting a bomb in Ramallah intended to injure Israeli soldiers and firing homemade rockets at Israeli settlements near Ramallah, according to the indictment.