Infiltration thwarted: 30 Palestinians busted hiding in bus trunk at checkpoint

Bus driver abandons vehicle after he’s stopped at checkpoint; bomb squad called, but no explosives discovered – instead, 30 men attempting to illegally enter Israel found in trunk.

By World Israel News Staff

At least 30 Palestinians were found hiding in the luggage compartment of a private tour bus after the vehicle was stopped at the Maccabim checkpoint on Sunday morning.

Soldiers had ordered the bus to stop for an inspection when it reached the checkpoint, near the city of Modiin in the Judean foothills.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, the panicked driver immediately abandoned the bus and fled the area, sparking concerns that there was a bomb on board.

Border Police officers and a special bomb disposal squad were called to the scene, and the road leading to the checkpoint was sealed off.

But rather than discovering explosives, security forces found some 30 Palestinian men hiding in the trunk of the bus.

They were likely attempting to enter Israel in order to work in construction and other labor jobs, without having undergone standard background checks or applying for work permits.

The men were detained and transferred to a nearby police station. Reports did not indicate whether the driver of the bus was found and arrested.

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In a statement, police praised the “vigilance” of the soldiers at the checkpoint, who prevented the group from infiltrating Israel.

A number of deadly terror attacks in recent years have been committed by Palestinians who were illegally residing in Israel or who had illicitly crossed into the country.

The perpetrator of the March 2022 Bnei Brak terror shooting, which left five people dead, including an Arab-Israel police officer, had secretly crossed into Israel from the Jenin area.

The shooter who killed three people on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv in April 2022 had also illegally crossed into Israel via a hole in the security barrier.

In April 2022, a Palestinian construction worker from Hebron stabbed a police officer in Ashdod. The assailant did not have a valid work permit.