TEL AVIV – Israeli police are investigating possible collaboration between terrorist groups and Israeli Arabs in carrying out today’s bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv, according to informed Middle East defense sources speaking to WND.
The Arab Israelis are suspected of providing support by transporting terrorist suspects and possibly even helping to plant the explosive device on the bus, the defense sources said.
Earlier today, the explosion blasted through a bus in central Tel Aviv, wounding at least 21 people. At least one passenger suffered serious wounds.
A suicide attack has been ruled out, with Israeli police pointing to an explosive device planted under a seat cushion in the middle of the bus.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the so-called military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, reportedly took responsibility, claiming those who perpetrated the attack infiltrated from the Gaza Strip.
If indeed the Brigades is responsible, the most likely scenario, defense sources said the terrorists and explosives originated in the West Bank, where Fatah is known to be strong.
The defense sources said it is possible the bombing is being used by Fatah to throw itself into an Israel-Hamas conflict that has largely seen Abbas’s group relegated to the sidelines as a regional player.
Immediately after the bombing, one suspect was arrested in Ramat Gan’s Diamond District, just south of Tel Aviv, but the suspect was released after being cleared of involvement.
Today’s attack marks the first such bombing in Tel Aviv since 2006.
Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population.
While most of Israel’s Arab citizens are considered law abiding and moderate, Israel has long been concerned about the radicalization of some elements of Israeli Arab society.
A 2007 poll by the University of Haifa showed half of Israeli Arabs believe Hezbollah’s kidnapping that year of two Israeli troops was justified.
The same poll showed more than a quarter of Israel’s Arab citizens believe the Holocaust never happened and 89 percent said they viewed Israel’s war against Lebanon in 2006 as a crime. Only 44 percent said they saw Hezbollah’s rocket attacks against Israeli cities as a crime.