WATCH: Jerusalem Arab charged with planning pub explosion

An Arab resident of Jerusalem was charged with planning an explosion at a downtown bar. 

Israel Police arrested a 30-year-old Arab resident of Jerusalem on suspicion of having sabotaged gas pipelines and gas balloons near entertainment establishments and residential buildings with the intent of committing arson with a lit cigarette.

Security cameras and forensic evidence led to the arrest. A gag order was released on Monday.

The police received reports on March 4 of a gas leak in downtown Jerusalem. The area was immediately cordoned off while firefighting teams dealt with the issue.

In light of the important fire hazard and risk of human casualties, the Special Investigation Team opened a probe, which led to the arrest.

The investigation revealed the suspect arrived at a crowded pub in the city center shortly before the call to police and continued walking towards the alley behind the pub, where he found a cluster of gas balloons in a closet. After noticing the pub’s back door was unlocked, he went on to open gas taps and sabotage gas pipelines aimed at regulating gas flow while holding a lit cigarette. He then threw the cigarette towards the balloons and fled the scene.

His remand, filed on Monday, will extend to the end of the legal proceedings, on accounts of intentional property damage, attempted arson and attempt to destroy property by using explosive material.

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By: Ilana Messika/TPS and World Israel News Staff