Two east Jerusalem residents were indicted on Sunday on charges of planning to carry out a large-scale terror attack at a popular Jerusalem shopping center over the upcoming Jewish holidays. The two men, who were allegedly in the advanced stages of planning the attack, were charged with aiding an enemy during wartime and attempted weapons making.
According to the indictment, a Ramallah man -- not one of those indicted -- decided to assemble a pipe bomb and plant it in a densely populated area with the explicit aim of "killing the maximum number of Jews." The man approached his cousin, a resident of east Jerusalem, and asked him to manufacture the bomb and smuggle it into Israel, to which he agreed, according to the indictment.
In early July, the two met and the first man suggested planting the bomb at the popular Mamilla shopping mall in Jerusalem. To that end, the two recruited another east Jerusalem man who worked as a maintenance man at the mall. The two east Jerusalem men were those indicted on Sunday.
According to the indictment, the maintenance man gathered some 40 pellets to be incorporated into the bomb, at the bomb maker's request. These pellets, about half a centimeter in diameter, could have wounded and killed many innocent bystanders. The maintenance man allegedly also provided his co-defendant with the chemicals needed to manufacture the bomb.
The three men allegedly planned to wrap the bomb like a gift in a box of chocolates. The plan was to put the "gift" in a trash can at the shopping center during one of the upcoming Jewish holidays, knowing that the mall enjoys a rise in the number of visitors over the holidays.
The three men were arrested last month in a joint operation of the Israel Security Agency, the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police. During the investigation, a bomb-making laboratory was discovered in Ramallah, containing the explosive device, chemical substances used in the manufacture of explosives and propaganda materials explaining how to make bombs and explosives.
In their interrogation, the three confessed and divulged initial plans for additional terror attacks, mainly against IDF soldiers.