Bomb explodes at central Jerusalem bus stop

Just when everybody’s nerves are stretched as taut as they could be, the terrible news arrived this afternoon about a blast at a bus stop in central West Jerusalem, near the central bus station, the International Convention Center, and then entrance to Jerusalem from the highway to Tel Aviv.

The cause turned out, after initial investigation, to have been a device packed with about 2-kilograms of explosives — and shrapnel, or ball bearings, apparently to cause maximum personal injuries — that was placed in a shopping trolly left beside a bus stop. It exploded when two buses were approaching, and a people waiting for the busses as well as those already on them were injured.

One 59-year-old (unidentified, so far) woman died of injuries (to the chest, apparently) while on the operating table, as doctors were working to save her life. A few of the other wounded are in serious condition. Many of the others are listed as moderate. The total is now somewhere between 39 and 51 injured.

Police said it had been a terror attack, and were said to be looking for one male suspect who was seen leaving the shopping trolley. Checkpoints were set up at various points in Jerusalem and around the country, but no arrests have been announced.

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, who had already convened a meeting of his security cabinet to deal with the cycle of violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, added the Jerusalem bombing to the agenda. He said later that “”The government, the Israel Defense Forces, and the Israeli public has an iron will to defend the country and its citizens … Israel will act firmly [decisively], responsibly and wisely [intelligently] to preserve the quiet and security that prevailed here over the past two years … We have established a clear policy regarding security issues – a resolute reaction to every attempt to hurt our citizens and systematic, resolute preventative steps against terror”, according to a report in Haaretz here.

Haaretz has posted a timeline of terror attacks in Jerusalem, here.