Jerusalem – On Wednesday, two explosions went off near bus stops in Jerusalem, killing one person and injuring at least 14, which police said were suspected of being att*cked by Palestinians. The first explosion occurred near a bus stop on the outskirts of the city, where commuters usually crowd waiting for buses. The second broke out in Ramot, a settlement in the north of the city.
Police said one person died from their injuries, while Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said four people were seriously injured in the blasts.
Apparent att*cks came asafter Israeli months sparked by a series of deadly att*cks on Israelis in which 19 people were killed. There has been an increase in Palestinian att*cks in recent weeks.
Violence also comes as former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds coalition talks after national elections and is likely to form what.
Itamar Ben-Gvir,who has called for the d*ath penalty for Palestinian att*ckers and who is set to become the minister in charge of policing under Netanyahu, said the att*ck meant Israel must take a tougher stance against Palestinian att*ckers.
“We have to exact a price from terror,” he said at the site of the first explosion. “We must return to take control of Israel to restore the terror deterrent.”
Police said their initial findings showed explosives had been placed at both locations. The twin blasts took place amidst rush hour traffic and police closed part of the main highway out of the city where the first explosion occurred.
Video from shortly after the first blast showed debris scattered along the sidewalk as ambulances roared. The bus in Ramot was riddled with what looked like shrapnel marks.
“It was a crazy explosion. There is destruction everywhere,” Yosef Haim Gabay, a doctor who was at the scene of the first blast, told Israeli Army Radio. “I saw people everywhere with wounds that bled.”
While Palestinians have carried out stabbings, car rammings and shootings in recent years, b*mbings have become very rare since the end of the Palestinian uprising nearly two decades ago.
The Islamic militant Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and once carried out suic*de b*mbings against Israelis, praised the perpetrators of the att*cks, calling it a heroic operation, but refrained from claiming responsibility.
“The occupation is paying the price for its crimes and aggression against our people,” said Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua.
Israel said it closed two West Bank crossings to Palestinians in response to the blasts near the West Bank town of Jenin, a militant stronghold.
More than 130 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this year, making 2022 the deadliest year since 2006. The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed are militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting against military incursions and others who did not participate in the confrontations were also killed.
At least five Israelis have been killed in Palestinian att*cks in recent weeks.
Israel captured the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War, along with East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Palestinians are looking for territories for their desired independent state.
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