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TEL AVIV — Israeli police arrested two Palestinian suspects near a Tel Aviv-area mall on Thursday after a large-scale manhunt triggered by what officials said was a warning about an imminent terrorist attack in the area.
The pair were appended at an apartment in the city of Givatayim after a chase involving a helicopter and security forces, Tel Aviv police chief Shimon Aviv told the Voice of Israel radio station.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri confirmed to NBC News that the two suspects had been transferred to Shin Bet, Israel's equivalent of the FBI, for interrogation.
The incident came against the backdrop of severely heightened tensions in Israel and the West Bank. In the past month, seven Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, and 33 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, Israeli and Palestinian officials said respectively. The Associated Press reported 14 of the dead Palestinians had been identified by Israel as attackers.
On Thursday, large concrete cubs were placed as roadblocks in East Jerusalem, and security forces searched everyone on foot — even children.
The air of anxiety was illustrated earlier Thursday, when two Israeli soldiers traveling on a train from Haifa to Tel Aviv thought they saw an attacker on board, according to Israeli police.
A third male solider fired a shot into the air and the train's emergency brakes were activated bringing it to an abrupt halt — but police said that after searching the train, officers declared it a false alarm.
Several passengers were treated after injuring themselves when the train stopped suddenly; the soldier who fired the shot was taken by officers for questioning, according to police.