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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israel Finds 600-Kilo Car Bomb

JERUSALEM -- Police on Thursday detonated a 600-kilogram car bomb, one of the largest ever discovered, averting a catastrophe that could have changed the face of the Middle East, said Israel's foreign minister.

Israel is bracing for a possible new wave of attacks by Palestinian militants during the Jewish New Year holiday, which begins at sundown Friday. Israeli-Palestinian fighting erupted during the New Year's holiday two years ago.

In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian gunman fired at an army patrol Thursday, wounding two Israeli soldiers before being shot dead by troops.

Near the northern town of Hadera, police stopped two suspicious cars early Thursday and discovered that one was rigged with 600 kilograms of explosives.

Had the bomb gone off, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said, "it would have cost such loss of life that it would have changed almost the entire political situation in one moment."

In the West Bank, tanks raided the Balata refugee camp, arresting two members of the Islamic militant group Hamas on suspicion they were planning to carry out a suicide bombing, the military said.

In a Tel Aviv court, Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti went on trial on charges he orchestrated terror attacks. Barghouti has said he does not recognize the court's right to try him, and hopes to turn the trial into a showcase for what he says are the crimes of the Israeli occupation. He has denied the accusations, saying he is a political leader.