Twin blasts in Jerusalem kill one in suspected Palestinian attack

  • As a result of two explosions at bus stations, at least 14 people were injured
  • Hamas has praised the attack and has not claimed responsibility
  • The blasts are reminiscent of the 2000-05 bus bombings

JERUSALEM, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Two bombs exploded at bus stops on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a 16-year-old boy and wounding at least 14 others, in what appeared to be attacks by Palestinian militants. .

Police identified the cause of the first explosion during the morning rush hour as an improvised explosive device at a bus stop near the city exit. The second – about 30 minutes later – hit a bus stop near a town east of the city.

“There has not been such a coordinated attack in Jerusalem for many years,” police spokesman Eli Levi told Israel Army Radio.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan Radio said the devices were hidden in bags, fastened with nails and apparently detonated remotely via a mobile phone.

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Security camera footage showed the moment of the first explosion with a sudden cloud of smoke billowing from the bus stop. Television showed debris strewn around the site and emergency services cordoned off.

The emergency service said that 12 people were taken to the hospital from the first explosion, and three people were injured in the second. A 16-year-old Canadian-Israeli citizen died in the hospital.

The United Nations, the European Union and the United States condemned the attacks.

“Terrorism is a dead end that achieves nothing,” the US Embassy tweeted.

The Canadian ambassador confirmed that the slain teenager was a Canadian citizen and called the bombing a “terrorist attack.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now negotiating with allies from religious and right-wing parties to form a new government after the elections, said he would do everything to restore security.

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“We still have a fight against terrorism that has reared its head again,” the veteran former prime minister said during a visit to a hospital where the wounded are being treated.

In Gaza, a spokesman for the Palestinian militant group Hamas praised the blasts in Jerusalem but denied responsibility. Abdul-Latif Al-Qanua attributed the explosions to “crimes committed by the occupiers (Israel) and the settlers.”

The blasts, similar to the bus bombings that marked the 2000-05 Palestinian uprising, followed months of rising tensions in Israel’s occupied West Bank after the Israeli army cracked down on a series of deadly attacks by Palestinians. in Israel.

The coordinated explosions appeared to be a step up from a series of mostly lone-wolf Palestinian attacks, shootings and carjackings this year.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, a lawmaker for the Israeli extremists, one of Netanyahu’s potential coalition partners, demanded that security forces should “go door-to-door looking for weapons and restore our deterrent power.”

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Palestinian gunmen seized the body of an Israeli high school student from a Palestinian hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday following a car crash nearby, the teenager’s uncle told Radio Can.

The father of this young man and some Israeli authorities said that the armed men removed him from the rescue device before taking him away.

A diplomatic source told Reuters the United Nations was mediating the release of the body, and the Israeli military said it expected it to happen soon.

The reasons for the seizure of the body remain unclear.

Reporting by Maayan Lubel and Emily Rose in Jerusalem; Nidol al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Ali Sawafta in Ramallah By James McKenzie and Maayan Lubel; Edited by Kim Coghill, Robert Birsel, Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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