The Israeli media reported on Monday night that the bomber, who blew himself up Monday morning in an Eilat bakery, attempted to hitch a ride to the center of the city, and rode a vehicle of a reserve Israeli military colonel.
The Israeli media reported on Monday night that the Eilat bomber, who blew himself up Monday morning in an Eilat bakery, attempted to hitch a ride to the center of the city, and rode a vehicle of a reserve Israeli military colonel.
The colonel, Yossi Woltinsky, said that he picked up the bomber on Monday morning and asked him to step out of the car after he suspected him.
After forcing the bomber out of the car, Woltinsky notified the police about him, the Israeli media source added.
According to the report, Woltinsky left his house around 9:00 a.m.; he was driving on his way to the Sport Hotel, a thing he does on daily basis looking for workers who missed their ride to the hotel.
Ten minutes later, he picked up a man wearing a red jacket, red hat, and carrying a backpack. The reserve colonel tried to ask the man about where he is going, but the man only pointed towards Eilat.
(“I identified a man whom I thought was one of the hotel workers," Woltinsky stated, "Immediately as he got in the car, I sensed that there was a problem. I asked him where he wants to go, and he pointed to the center of the city. At first, I undid my seatbelt in case he attacked me or something like that."), Israeli Ynetnews reported.
The Ynetnews added that after Woltinsky suspected that something is wrong, started to drive towards the bypass road to avoid residential neighborhoods.
Later on, as the bomber noticed that the car wasn’t driving the normal road, and pointed his hand threatening the driver who suddenly stopped the vehicle and got out of it. After jumping out of the vehicle, Woltinsky called the police.
The bomber later on strayed from the road, and started to run, the Ynetnews reported.
The Islamic Jihad has named the bomber as Mohammed al-Saqsaq, 21, of Gaza; Al Quds Brigades stated that he entered Israel via Jordan.
The Al-Quds Brigades of the Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Brigades of Fateh, and the Army of The Faithful Brigades, have claimed responsibility for the attack.
A spokesman of Hamas described the bombing as a "natural response to Israeli military policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as [Israel's] ongoing boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian government." While the Fateh oriented Al Aqsa Brigades made a similar statement saying that “The attack in Eilat was a natural response to Israel’s continued crimes in the West Bank."
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum added that "So long as there is occupation, resistance is legitimate."
This is the first bomb attack in Israel since April 2006, when a bomber detonated explosives in a bus station in Tel Aviv killing ten people.