Twin blasts in Jerusalem kill one in suspected Palestinian attack

  • At least 14 people were injured in two blasts at bus stops
  • Hamas praises the attack, does not claim responsibility
  • The blasts are reminiscent of bus bombings in 2000-05

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, Israeli officials said. .

Police blamed the initial blast during the morning rush hour on an improvised explosive device at a bus stop near the city exit. The second – about 30 minutes later – hit a bus stop near a settlement in the city’s east.

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

The devices were hidden in bags, packed with nails and detonated remotely via mobile phone, Israeli public broadcaster Kan Radio said.

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, surrounded by emergency services.

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Ambulance services said 12 people were taken to hospital from the first blast and three were injured in the second blast. A 16-year-old Canadian-Israeli national died in hospital.

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

“Terrorism is a dead end that achieves absolutely nothing,” the US embassy said on Twitter.

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

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

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“We still have a war on terror that has reared its head again,” the veteran former prime minister said during a visit to a hospital where the injured were being treated.

In Gaza, a spokesman for the Palestinian militant group Hamas praised the Jerusalem blasts but stopped short of claiming responsibility. Abdel-Latif al-Kanawa linked the explosions to “(Israeli) occupation and crimes committed by settlers”.

The blasts, which echoed the bus bombings that were a hallmark of the 2000-05 Palestinian uprising, followed months of rising tensions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank as the Israeli military launched a crackdown in the wake of a series of deadly Palestinian attacks. In Israel.

The coordinated explosions were seen as a step up from a series of stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks by mostly Palestinian lone-wolves this year.

Israeli ultra-nationalist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, one of Netanyahu’s potential coalition partners, urged tougher action, saying security forces should “go door-to-door to look for guns and restore our deterrence”.

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Separately, late Tuesday night Palestinian gunmen seized the body of an Israeli high school student from a Palestinian hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin, the teenager’s uncle told Kan Radio.

The young man’s father and some Israeli officials said the gunmen took his life preserver before taking him away.

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

The reasons for seizing the body are not clear.

Reporting by Mayan Lubel and Emily Rose in Jerusalem; Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Ali Sawafta in Ramallah Writing by James McKenzie and Mayan Lubell; Editing by Kim Coghill, Robert Birsell, Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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