A spate of bombings targeting Israeli civilians in the capital and the neighboring city of Haifa has led to fears among Israelis that the threat posed by al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups is getting worse.
Mere days after the assassination of a policeman in a Jerusalem shopping mall, al-Qaida-linked gunmen killed a young father and his 12-year-old son in an attack on a supermarket in Haifa that also wounded several others.
The suspected bomber, Mohammed Khaled Al-Sufi, a 24-year old Palestinian man, was shot and killed after his car crashed into a group of people waiting for a supermarket delivery.
He is believed to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and shouted “I’m going to the caliphate” before he was killed by security forces.
The Haifa blast happened shortly after Al-Khalid’s vehicle struck the supermarket.
A passerby who saw the explosion, called the police and said a man was shot in the car.
The police said the car was a BMW.
The Haifa police said they were treating the attack as an attempted murder.
Al-Safali, who was a driver for a car company in Hafta, was arrested two days later.
His family said he had been on the run since April for the murder of an Israeli father and the killing of his teenage son.
Al Khalid was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank and has been living in the city for the past two years.
He was arrested in Ha’il on Thursday on charges of attempted murder and terrorism.
Al Safali’s family said that he had returned to the West Bank after living in Israel, where he was employed at a local restaurant.
He told Haaretz in an interview in October that he is a “militant” in the group.
Al Sufi was arrested after he was found with a large quantity of weapons and explosives at his home, police said.
Police were not able to say if they found the explosives at the house, but Al Sufil’s family has said he is still wanted for a string of bombings in the West and East Bank that killed a police officer, wounded six others and wounded a security guard.