Israel says it arrests Tel Aviv bus bomber

Israeli authorities arrested an Arab Israeli on Thursday on accusations he planted a bomb on a bus in Tel Aviv that wounded 27 people and threatened to sabotage efforts to broker a cease-fire to end the fighting in Gaza, police said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the man, from the village of Taybeh in Israel, was connected to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups.

A Palestinian militant cell based in the West Bank village of Beit Lakiya sent the man to put a bomb connected to a mobile phone on the Tel Aviv bus Wednesday, Rosenfeld said.

After he planted the bomb, the man, who police declined to identify, left the bus and called his handlers, who remotely detonated the explosive by calling the phone, he said.

`'He admitted to carrying out the terrorist attack," Rosenfeld said.

Attacks by Israeli Arabs are rare, though they have happened in the past.

The attack brought back harsh memories of frequent bus bombings during last decade's violent Palestinian uprising.

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