The police and Shin Bet Security Service said on Wednesday that their forces have thwarted an attempt to derail a train in northern Israel by placing an obstacle on the railway tracks.
An Arab Israeli man was detained and taken for investigation after the object was found on the railway line between the cities of Acre and Karmiel, the police said.
The man, a Galilee resident in his 20s, was arrested close to the tracks along Route 85, near the town of Jadeidi Makr, a few kilometers east of Acre. He was handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning.
Police said there was no damage or injury as a result of the incident, which occurred on the Rosh Hashanah holiday when the trains were not running.
Much of the information related to the ongoing investigation was placed under a gag order.
Israeli security forces are on high alert during the Jewish holidays, which began on Sunday and will last until mid-October.
Former senior police officer Shachar Ayalon, the CEO of Israel Railways, said the incident is very serious and that the Israeli security services should be concerned.
He said that a train traveling at a speed between 120 to 140 kilometers per hour can come off the rails if it hits an object, and the cars can flip over. He added that the conductor can’t avoid it because there’s no time or space to stop.
Ayalon noted that these trains usually carry between 800 and 1,500 passengers.
“The operation indicates the significant increase in terrorist intent, adding to its danger that the perpetrator is an Israeli citizen,” he said, noting that previous attempts were made before to derail trains.
He noted that patrols constantly roam the areas along railways and that monitoring devices, electronic sensors, and cameras were installed.