Two bomb attacks targeting separate bus stops wound at least 14 people and kill 16-year-old Canadian yeshiva student
At least one person was killed and 14 people wounded after two explosions hit entrances to Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, Israeli police said.
At around 7am local time, an explosive device detonated at a bus stop in Givat Shaul, wounding 12 people, one of who succumbed to injuries later in hospital.
The fatality was a minor, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, naming him as 16-year-old Canadian yeshiva student Aryeh Shechopek.
Half an hour later, another attack at a different bus stop a short distance away wounded three people, medics said. According to Haaretz, a source in the police said the devices were likely controlled remotely.
Israel’s Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said they were looking for perpetrators and possibly other explosives in the city.
Palestinian armed groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attacks but stopped short of claiming responsibility.
Following the blasts, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz held an assessment with senior army and police officials, as well as the the Shin Ben domestic security agency chief.
More Israelis have been killed in attacks this year than any since 2006 – 28 including Shechopek. Meanwhile, 190 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and Gaza in the same period.
‘Lay siege to them’
Omer Bar-Lev, outgoing public security minister, said at the scene of one blast: “It’s a very difficult morning. There’s a high probability that there’s a connection between the attacks. These are not copycats. I believe that we’ll put our hand on all involved.”
Far-right Israeli MP Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is likely to take Bar-Lev’s post when a new government is formed, also visited the scene of the first explosion. He called for escalation against Palestinian resistance fighters in the occupied West Bank.
“Lay siege to them and go from house to house in search of guns and restore our deterrence power,” he said Ben-Gvir.
“I feel confused, this situation reminds me of the Second Intifada,” Teferit Kedmi, a Jerusalem resident and librarian, told Middle East Eye.
“I just called the Palestinian woman who is nursing my parents to be careful because I believe now they will start to take revenge on Palestinians and even to do lynches. The situation is very scary.”
Kedmi said that she takes buses every day to work, and would continue to do so despite being fearful of attacks.
“I am not scared to keep using buses, anything can happen to me anywhere. But I’m more scared of being a witness of a lynch on Arabs, which I think will happen a lot in the coming period.
“There are no Arabs on the buses, they don’t dare to take the Israeli buses, not like when I was a child,” she added.
“The political situation will get worse with Ben-Gvir, he is going everywhere and spreading hate and revenge.”
The bomb attacks come after armed Palestinian groups withheld the body of an Israeli who died in a car accident in a refugee camp near Jenin.
The accident took place on Tuesday afternoon, and the body was taken from the Ibn Sina hospital in the occupied West Bank city.
Also on Tuesday night, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was killed after an Israeli army-protected settler raid on Nablus.
Israeli forces, accompanied by a military bulldozer raided the eastern party of the city, shortly before settlers stormed Joseph’s tomb near the city.
Ahmed Shehadeh, 16, was killed and several others wounded after Israeli soldiers fired live bullets, stun grenades and tear gas, according to local media.
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