Israeli police foil bomb attack in Jerusalem

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A  Palestinian man carrying pipe bombs and a knife was arrested Sunday near a light-rail train station in central Jerusalem, according to police in Israel.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says the man, a resident of Beit Ula near Hebron in the West Bank, was standing at a train stop when he aroused the suspicions of security guards, who searched his bag and found several pipe bombs inside. Police streamed to the area, closed off streets in downtown Jerusalem and shut down the light rail, the Israel National News reported.

A guard who searched the man’s bags reportedly found improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

“A huge miracle just happened. It could have been a mass-casualty event,” said Natan Epstein, who had just boarded the Jerusalem train when the suspect was arrested.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat issued a statement thanking police for "preventing a large attack."  He asked the public to go about their usual activities.

Since October, more than 250 people have been killed in violence in Israel. The death toll includes at least 215 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese. Most have died in individual stabbing attacks, though gun violence is on the rise. At least 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, with most identified as assailants.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.