21 Israelis Hurt In Tel Aviv Bus Explosion

09:47 Nov 21 2012 Tel Aviv, Israel

by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported Wednesday that 21 Israelis have been injured in an explosion that took place, on Wednesday afternoon, in a bus in Tel Aviv; one of the wounded is in a serious condition.

Haaretz said that one person was detained after the explosion but was released soon after his arrest. The Police ordered all schools in the area to keep the student indoors for around two hours after the blast. The Police also closed several nearby roads.

Furthermore, Ofir Gendelman, spokesperson of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “this was a terror attack” but did not provide any further information.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli Internal Security Services (Shin Bet) received dozens of warnings regarding what was described as “plots to carry out terror attacks”, including a warning about an attack allegedly targeting a senior Israeli government office, or a senior military official.

The one clear thing about this attack in Tel Aviv is that it was not carried out by a suicide bomber.

Furthermore, according to Haaretz, a Palestinian source in the West Bank informed its reporter that the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of the Fateh movement, is behind the attack, adding that the bombing “was carried out by a delegation from Gaza”.

Meanwhile in Gaza, the Israeli army continued to bombard civilians areas and homes in different parts of the Gaza Strip leading, so far, to the death of 146 Palestinians since last Wednesday, while more than a thousand have been injured, dozens seriously.

Most of the victims are civilians, children, women and elderly, including entire families slain by Israeli shells.


Israel arrests Hamas, Islamic Jihad cell behind Tel Aviv bus bomb

By Gili Cohen for Haaretz
November 22, 2012

Israeli security forces apprehended the suspected perpetrators of a bombing attack on a Tel Aviv bus, it was revealed on Thursday after a gag order was lifted. Shin Bet and police said that the attack was planned and orchestrated by operatives identified with Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

A bomb exploded on a bus in central Tel Aviv at a little after noon Wednesday, wounding at least 30 people. As of Wednesday night six people were admitted to hospital overnight. Of these, three had surgery for moderate injuries that were described as not life-threatening, and three had mild injuries only. The rest of the people who were injured in the incident were treated for minor injuries and released.

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On Thursday, security sources said they apprehended the operatives responsible for the attack, and that they were apprehended in an extensive arrest operation on Wednesday.

According to the sources, operatives linked to Hamas and Islamic Jihad admitted in their interrogation to preparing the bomb used in the attack, as well as to choosing the target of the attack and purchasing the cell phone used to remotely detonate the device.

The Shin Bet said that most of those arrested were from the West Bank village of Beit Lakiya, adding that they recruited a resident of the Israeli Arab town of Taibeh, who originally resided in Beit Lakiya but was granted Israeli citizenship for in order to unite his family.

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In order to allow his entrance into Tel Aviv, suspected cell members took a car belonging to the man's Israeli employer, which the Israeli citizen then used to enter the city and place the bomb. He subsequently updated Y., who security forces think is the cell's commander in Beit Lakiya.

Shin Bet sources said that the investigation was pending, and that additional arrests were expected.

Following the attack on Wednesday, security officials suggested that the device was relatively small, and consequently caused fewer and less severe casualties than a more powerful bomb would.

After the incident police officers combed the surrounding streets and beyond in an effort to apprehend the perpetrator and anyone who might have assisted him or her, including with transportation.

Central District Police Commander Benzi Sau announced the force's highest state of alert, "Code Dagger" after the attack. The heightened policing level, which including roadblocks at major roads and intersections, blocked traffic throughout Tel Aviv for several hours.
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