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Jerusalem bus stations hit by twin bombs, killing one teenager ~ Washington


TEL AVIV – A student was killed and at least 18 others injured after explosions exploded at two bus stops in Jerusalem at the height of the morning rush hour in what Israeli security forces are treating as a “combined terrorist attack”.

The blasts come amid a spate of violence between Israelis and Palestinians this year, and there are fears it could mark a return to the bombing campaigns of 20 years ago.

The first explosion occurred around 7:05 a.m. local time near a bus stop on the outskirts of the city. Half an hour later, another explosion went off at a bus stop near Ramot Junction, just over two miles away. Both bus stops were full of students.

The first blast killed Aryeh Shechopek, a 16-year-old Canadian-Israeli yeshiva student living in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

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Israel’s emergency medical service, known as Magen David Adom, said four of the injured were in serious condition.

Israeli police said the bombs at both locations were activated remotely by phone. The explosives were said to be placed in sacks and contained nails and bits of metal to maximize effect.

Two bombs exploded at bus stops on the outskirts of Jerusalem on November 23, killing at least one and injuring more than a dozen others. (Video: Reuters)

More than 5,000 Israeli security officers were deployed across Jerusalem after the blasts, some searching other bus stops for extra explosives.

The incident was reminiscent of the second intifada in the early 2000s, during which the Palestinian radical Islamist group Hamas orchestrated a spate of bombings across Israel.

“This is a complex, two-area, combined attack that appears to be the result of an organized infrastructure and not a spontaneous act, as we have learned over the past few years,” Israeli Minister of Public Security Omer Bar Lev said later on Wednesday morning Visit to the two explosion sites.

The bombings are a departure from the low-tech, one-on-one attacks that Israel has grappled with in recent years. Since last spring, a spate of Palestinian stabbings, shootings and autorams has put Israel on high alert. In response, the Israeli military has been conducting near-night raids, particularly near the West Bank city of Jenin, where a number of attackers have originated.

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On Tuesday evening, Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Palestinian man Ahmad Shehadeh during clashes in the West Bank city of Nablus.

In nearby Jenin, Palestinian gunmen kidnapped the body of Tiran Pero, a 17-year-old Israeli citizen from the Druze city of Daliyat al-Carmel, from a hospital where they were staying he was taken after serious injuries in a car accident.

His family said about 20 masked gunmen arrived at the hospital and disconnected Pero from a ventilator. who died shortly thereafter. Israel is in talks with the Palestinian Authority to return the body, Daliyat al-Carmel Mayor Rafik Halabi told Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster.

Adi Pero, Tiran’s uncle, told Kan that members of Islamic Jihad, a militant group with a large presence in Jenin, kidnapped the body. He said his nephew was a 12th grade high school student and not a soldier, as the gunmen might have thought.

“If Tiran’s body is not returned, the kidnappers will pay a heavy price,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement.

Palestinian militants have kidnapped Israelis in the past to negotiate the release of their captives.

Last week, a Palestinian teenager carried out a combined knife and ram attack near the West Bank settlement of Ariel, killing three Israelis.

Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu, in the midst of coalition talks to form the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, tweeted on Wednesday morning that he “prayed this morning for the peace of those injured in the combined terrorist attack in Jerusalem and supported the security forces operating at the scene.”

Netanyahu called for the new government to be formed quickly to “restore security to the citizens of Israel”.

Itamar Ben Gvir, a far-right politician who is to be appointed Israel’s Minister of Public Security, tweeted that the bombing “takes us back to the difficult time of the Intifada”.

He promised a return to policies of targeting Palestinian leaders, imposing curfews on attackers’ hometowns, sealing off jails with Palestinian inmates, and preventing the Palestinian authorities from paying reparations to those who have served time in Israeli jails or been injured in clashes became. Israeli critics have called it a “pay-to-slay” policy, which they say incites violence.

“It’s time to crack down on terrorists, it’s time to put things in order,” he said.