Two explosions in Jerusalem kill one in suspected Palestinian attack

  • At least 14 injured in two explosions at bus stops
  • Hamas welcomes attack but does not claim responsibility
  • Explosions recall 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 injuring at least 14 others in what appears to be an attack by Palestinian militants, Palestinians said. the Israeli authorities.

Police blamed the initial explosion, during the morning rush hour, on an improvised bomb planted near the edge of town. The second – about 30 minutes later – hit a crossroads leading to an outlying settlement.

“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 bags, filled with nails and appeared to have been detonated remotely by cellphone, Kan Radio said.

CCTV footage showed the moment of the first explosion with a sudden cloud of smoke billowing from the bus stop. The site, cordoned off by the emergency services, was strewn with debris.

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

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

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

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

“We still have a battle against terrorism that has raised its head again,” the veteran former prime minister told reporters.

In Gaza, a spokesman for the Palestinian militant group Hamas hailed the explosions in Jerusalem but refrained from claiming responsibility. Abdel-Latif Al-Qanoua linked the explosions to “crimes committed by the occupation (Israel) and the settlers”.

The blasts, which echoed the bus bombings that marked the 2000-2005 Palestinian uprising, follow months of growing tension in the occupied West Bank after Israel launched a crackdown in response to deadly Palestinian attacks in its cities.

The coordinated blasts appeared to be a step up from a series of mainly Palestinian stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks this year.

Ultra-nationalist Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, one of Netanyahu’s likely coalition partners, demanded firm action, saying security forces should go “house-to-house in search of weapons and restore our power of deterrence”.

Separately, Palestinian gunmen seized the body of an Israeli Druze high school student from a Palestinian hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday night following a nearby car accident, the teenager’s uncle said. at Reuters.

The Druze are an Arab community in Israel who serve in its armed forces. The youth’s father and some Israeli officials said the gunmen took him off life support before taking him away. Reuters was unable to immediately confirm his condition.

Their reasons for the seizure were unclear. But the families of slain Palestinian militants whose remains are held by Israel have called for an exchange of corpses.

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

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

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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