On November 23, one person was killed and 22 others were wounded when two explosions rocked different bus stops near entrances to Jerusalem city.
The first explosion targeted a bus stop close to the main entrance of Jerusalem in Givat Shaul, shortly after 7 a.m. At least 18 people were wounded in the explosion, including four seriously.
One of the casualties later died at Shaare Zedek Medical Center. He was identified by the Israeli media as 16-year-old Aryeh Schupak.
A second blast, which took place shortly after 7:30 a.m., targeted a bus stop near Ramot junction, another entrance to Jerusalem. Five people were wounded.
Police officials told The Times of Israel the explosions were likely caused by near-identical remotely-controlled explosive devices which were packed with nails to maximize casualties. The officials believe that the bombs were hidden in the bushes behind the bus stops.
Citing an assessment by defense officials, Ynet reported that the twin bombings were out by a cell numbering several members who knew the terrain well and planned the attack long in advance. The assessment says the attackers operated independently and were not guided by a handler in a larger group.
While visiting the scene of the bombings, Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said that there may have been two attackers.
“This is a framework of attack that we haven’t seen for many years,” Shabtai said.
The twin bombing were hailed by the Palestinian Hamas Movement. A spokesman for the movement said that the attacks were a “message to the occupation by saying that our people will stand firm on their land and cling to the path of resistance.”
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad also praised the bombings, saying in a statement that they were a “natural response to the occupation, its terrorism, and its criminal practices against the defenseless Palestinian people and its holy sites.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz held an assessment with the Shin Bet security agency chief, deputy army chief, and other senior military and police officials, following the bombings. Prime Minister Yair Lapid is set to hold a separate assessment later on.
The twin bombing came following a series of Palestinian attacks that targeted Israeli troops and settlers in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The bombings will likely provoke a fierce response from Tel Aviv, who may boost security measures targeting Palestinians.
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