Five members of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas were charged in Israel on Thursday with planting a pipe bomb next to a Jerusalem monastery and planning other attacks around the city, according to officials from the Israeli Defense Force.
The suspects allegedly placed a bomb trash bag outside the monastery last month. A city worker was injured when he picked up the bag and it exploded severing his right hand, according to a Jerusalem police report.
Micky Rosenfeld, a public information officer for the police, announced that the five men, residents of Jerusalem, were tied to the Islamist group Hamas and had admitted after their arrest that they planned to carry out more attacks against other Israeli targets in Jerusalem.
The IDF says, however, that the five suspects charged with the monastery bomb blast were not involved in another March bombing that occurred adjacent to a bus stop which killed one woman and wounded dozens of others in Jerusalem.
It was the first fatal bombing, which police blamed on Palestinian militants, since a wave of lethal attacks in the second Palestinian uprising that ran from 2000 to 2005.
In a separate incident, the Sudanese government accused Israel a missile attack that killed two people near the port city of Khartoum. The attack came in response to the Sudan's inability to stop arms trafficking. Analysts say weapons are smuggled to Hamas-run Gaza through desert routes in Sudan's east.
This latest strike comes at a time when the Sudanese government is attempting to be removed from the U.S. State Department's list of nations that sponsor and harbor terrorist groups.
In March, there was a significant increase in the number of terrorist attacks in comparison to recent months, according to a report released on Monday (Apr. 4) by the General Security Service. There were 83 terrorist attacks in January.
The data in the report shows a rise in the number of attacks on all fronts, most prominently in the Gaza Strip where there was a sharp increase in the level of rocket and mortar fire at Israel, including Grad rockets that landed in Ashkelon and Be'er Sheba. Overall, there were 50 terrorist attacks in the Gaza area in March compared to just 18 the previous month.
In the Jerusalem area, there were 42 attacks in March compared to 20 in February and in Judea and Samaria there were 36 attacks compared to 23 in February.
Six people were killed in terrorist attacks in March: five members of the same family in a stabbing attack in Itamar (March 12) and a tourist in a bombing in Jerusalem (March 23).
27 Israelis were injured in terrorist attacks in March: 23 in the Jerusalem bombing, two from mortars fired into Israel from Gaza (March 19 and 23) and a member of the security forces who was struck by a thrown item in Judea (March 25).
In March, 38 rockets and 87 mortar shells (in 47 attacks) were fired into Israel, in comparison to February during which six rockets and 19 mortar shells (in 14 attacks) were launched at Israel.
Terrorists in the Gaza Strip take advantage of areas surrounding the security fence regularly. Terrorists approach the fence in the guise of civilians innocently wandering by while they attempt to plant explosives there, plan attacks and kidnappings of IDF soldiers and ultimately endanger citizens of the State of Israel and security forces in the area, according to security officials.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.