NABLUS, West Bank, May 30 (UPI) -- A Palestinian man in an explosives-packed "suicide belt" was detained at a West Bank military checkpoint Friday, Israeli security officials said.
The possibility of renewed suicide bombings has caused fear in Israel, which was the site of the deaths of over 600 Israelis and Palestinians during a wave of suicide attacks on buses, restaurants and checkpoints during a Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s.
The most recent suicide bombing that led to death or injuries of civilians occurred in 2008. However, there have since been numerous reports of improvised explosive devices left on the Israeli fence surrounding the Gaza Strip, and in other locations.
The unidentified man was detained after he approached a checkpoint at Tapuah Junction, near the town of Nablus in the West Bank. It was discovered he had "12 steel pipes connected with wires" around his waist, concealed under a heavy coat, said Capt. Peter Lerner of the Israeli Defense Forces.
A bomb disposal team later detonated one of the pipes and learned it contained explosive material. It was not clear if he intended to detonate the devices at the checkpoint, or at another location.
"It's been quite a long time since we've exposed anything of this type," added Lerner.