[QODLink]
Middle East

Israel says bus blast was "terrorist attack"

No one was injured after device exploded but police call attack most serious strike inside country since 2012.

Last updated: 23 Dec 2013 08:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Police are calling this attack the most serious since a bomb exploded and killed 20 people in Tel Aviv in 2012 [Reuters]

Israeli police have blamed "terrorists" for a bomb that exploded on a bus in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam only moments after passengers left the vehicle.

Police have called Sunday's attack the most serious strike since a bomb exploded and wounded 20 people in Tel Aviv in November 2012, at a time when Israel was fighting Palestinian rebels in the Gaza strip.

"Based on the findings at the scene by bomb disposal experts, it was a terrorist attack," said Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman. "We're continuing to search the area for suspects."

There were no deaths or injuries, Rosenfeld said. The blast blew out the windows of the bus and charred its sides.

The device was discovered in a bag on the bus, prompting the driver to quickly evacuate all passengers. The explosion happened shortly afterwards when a bomb squad expert was examining the bomb.

President Shimon Peres phoned the bus driver, Michael Yoger, to thank him for saving the passengers.

"The nation owes you a debt of gratitude and I would like to personally congratulate you for this act of bravery," Peres told Yoger.

A 'sensitive time'

Rosenfeld said the nature of both the target and the device indicated to authorities that "terrorists", and not criminals, carried out the attack. Although Rosenfeld would not elaborate on this comment and no one has claimed responsibility.

The explosion came at a sensitive time in Middle East peace efforts. Israel and the Palestinians resumed talks for the first time in almost five years last summer. But the US-brokered negotiations have made little headway.

"Violent acts targeting civilians are deplorable," said Jen Psaki, US State Department spokesperson. "We reaffirm our unshakable bond with Israel and our solidarity with the Israeli people."

A decade ago, Israel experienced an overwhelming number of Palestinian suicide bombings on buses, in restaurants and in other public spaces. More than 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis have died in years of clashes between the two countries. 

321

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list