Home » Jerusalem explosions leave 1 dead and several injured as Israeli-Palestinian tension soars

Jerusalem explosions leave 1 dead and several injured as Israeli-Palestinian tension soars

by Mahmmod Shar

CBS News 

Jerusalem — Two blasts went off near bus stops in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring at least 14, in what police said were suspected attacks by Palestinians. The first explosion occurred near a bus stop on the edge of the city, where commuters usually crowd waiting for buses. The second went off in Ramot, a settlement in the city’s north.

Police said one person died from the wounds and Israel’s rescue service Magen David Adom said four people were seriously wounded in the blasts.

The apparent attacks came as Israeli-Palestinian tensions are high, following months of Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank prompted by a spate of deadly attacks against Israelis that killed 19 people. There has been an uptick in recent weeks in Palestinian attacks.

The violence also occurs as Benjamin Netanyahu, a former Israeli prime minister, is expected to form Israel’s most right-wing government ever as a result of coalition negotiations following national elections.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, an extremist lawmaker who has advocated for the death penalty for Palestinian attackers and who will take over as Netanyahu’s minister of police, claimed that the attack demonstrated the need for Israel to adopt a more aggressive approach to Palestinian attackers.

At the site of the first explosion, he said, “We must exact a price from terror. “We must retake control of Israel so that we can once again deter terrorism.”

The two sites had explosive devices installed, according to the police’s preliminary findings. Police temporarily closed a portion of a major highway leading out of the city after the twin blasts, which happened during rush hour traffic.

Israeli police officers conduct an investigation following an explosion near a bus stop that left at least seven people injured in West Jerusalem on November 23, 2022.MOSTAFA ALKHAROUF/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY

Video from shortly after the first blast showed debris strewn along the sidewalk as the wail of ambulances blared. A bus in Ramot was pocked with what looked like shrapnel marks.
“It was a crazy explosion. There is damage everywhere here,” Yosef Haim Gabay, a medic who was at the scene when the first blast occurred, told Israeli Army Radio. “I saw people with wounds bleeding all over the place.”
While Palestinians have carried out stabbings, car rammings and shootings in recent years, bombing attacks have become very rare since the end of a Palestinian uprising nearly two decades ago.

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The Islamic militant Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and once carried out suicide bombings against Israelis, praised the perpetrators of the attacks, calling it a heroic operation, but stopped short of claiming responsibility.
“The occupation is reaping the price of its crimes and aggression against our people,” Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua said.
Israel said that in response to the blasts, it was closing two West Bank crossings to Palestinians near the West Bank city 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 have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting the military incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.
At least five more Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks in recent weeks.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with east Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Palestinians seek the territories for their hoped-for independent state.

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