Twin blasts in Jerusalem kill one in suspected Palestinian attack

  • At least 14 injured in two blasts at bus station
  • Hamas praises the attack, but does not claim responsibility
  • The explosion is reminiscent of the 2000-05 bombings

JERUSALEM, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Two bombs exploded at a bus stop outside Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a 16-year-old boy and injuring at least 14 others in an attack by Palestinian militants, Israeli officials said.

The first explosion, in the morning rush hour, was blamed by the police on an improvised explosive device near the exit of the city. The second – about 30 minutes later – hit an intersection leading to a distant village.

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

The devices were hidden in a bag, filled with nails and apparently detonated remotely from a mobile phone, Kan Radio reported.

CCTV footage showed the moment of the first explosion with smoke billowing from the bus station. The site, cordoned off by emergency services, was littered with debris.

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The ambulance service said 12 people were taken to hospital in the first explosion and three were injured in the second. The 16-year-old Canadian-Israeli citizen died from his injuries.

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

“Terrorism is a stop-gap,” the US Embassy said on Twitter.

Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been negotiating with religious and right-wing allies to form a new government after the election, has said he will do everything to restore order.

“We still have a war on terror that has reared its head again,” the former prime minister told reporters.

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In Gaza, a spokesman for the Palestinian militant group Hamas praised the explosion in Jerusalem but did not claim responsibility. Abdel-Latif Al-Qanoua linked the explosions to “the crimes of the Occupation (Israel) and the settlers”.

The blast, which echoed the bombings that marked the 2000-05 Palestinian uprising, followed months of tension in the occupied West Bank after Israel launched a crackdown in response to Palestinian attacks. killed people in his city.

The coordinated blasts appear to be a step up from a series of Palestinian lone wolf stabbings, shootings and carjackings this year.

Ultra-nationalist Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, one of Netanyahu’s allies, called for tougher action, saying security forces should “go door-to-door looking for guns and return them to the power to prevent”.

Palestinian gunmen on Tuesday seized the body of an Israeli Druze student from a Palestinian hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin after a car accident nearby, the the teenager’s uncle told Reuters.

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The Druze are an Arab community in Israel who serve in the armed forces. The boy’s father and some Israeli officials said the gunmen removed his body armor before taking him away. Reuters could not immediately confirm his condition.

The reason for their arrest is not clear. But the families of dead Palestinian militants whose bodies are in Israeli prisons have called for an exchange of bodies.

A diplomatic source told Reuters the United Nations was mediating the release of the teenager’s body and the Israeli military said it hoped it would happen soon.

Maayan Lubell and Emily Rose report in Jerusalem; Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Ali Sawafta in Ramallah By James Mackenzie and Maayan Lubell; Writing by Kim Coghill, Robert Birsel, Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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