Israeli Security Placed on Alert Amid Warnings of Terror Attack

Israeli officials this week placed the country’s security forces on high alert after receiving warnings that Islamic militants were planning an attack on a bus or shopping mall.

The warnings prompted police to set up roadblocks throughout the country. At Jerusalem’s main shopping mall, border police inspected cars and a sniffer dog was used to find explosives.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rebuffed criticisms that the beefed-up security was disrupting life in many cities.

“I gave a simple order: The safety of life comes before the quality of life,” he said.

Israeli security officials said the planned attacks were linked to the anniversary of the 1995 assassination of Islamic Jihad leader Dr. Fathi Shakaki.

Shakaki was shot in the head five times Oct. 26, 1995, in Malta. Islamic Jihad officials hold Israel responsible for the slaying and have vowed revenge. Israel declined to comment on whether it was behind the shooting.

Israeli security officials said this week that a car bomb might already have been smuggled into Israel and that terrorists could be waiting for a green light to carry out an attack.

Jibril Rajoub, head of Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, claimed that militant groups were not planning any terror attacks at this time out of fear that it would delay an already long-postponed Israeli troop redeployment in the West Bank town of Hebron.

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