A bus explosion in Jerusalem that injured 21 people on Monday has been confirmed as a terror attack. There were no deaths as a result of the explosion. Two commuters were seriously injured, seven moderately, and the rest lightly injured. The attack has prompted fears that attacks, similar the Palestinian suicide bombings that decimated the city 10 years ago, could return.
Local authorities have no doubt that the attack was terrorist activity. They are currently working to discover who carried out the attack but have not determined the group responsible. Hamas, the militant terrorist group that rules Gaza, has issued a statement praising the attack but did not take credit. Certain mosques in the area have also praised the attack, broadcasting support of the attacks over loudspeakers.
The bombing and the response from certain members of the local community has put Israeli citizens further on edge. There have been multiple attacks over a seven month period. Stabbings, Shootings and automobiles being used as battering rams to strike down unwitting civilians and law enforcement agents have killed as many as 28 Israelis and two American citizens. Approximately 189 Palestinians have died as a result of these attacks, a majority of them being attackers that were killed by the responding security forces.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that that this atrocity will not go unpunished. He has vowed a deadly retaliation and has released the following statement:
“We will locate those who prepared this explosive device. We will reach the dispatchers. We will also reach those behind them. We will settle the score with these terrorists.”
The recent violence is allegedly the result of unrest sparked by a Jerusalem shrine that is highly revered by Muslims and Jews. In September masked Palestinians stormed Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque and hurled flares, as well as other flaming devices, at security forces in the area. Security officers quickly quelled the uprising and prevented the masked Palestinians from securing the plaza outside the shrine. They were attempting to secure the shrine in order to prevent Jews from visiting the compound on the Jewish New Year.
A spokesperson for Hamas in Qatar, Husam Badran, issued a statement that fueled speculation that the bombings that struck the region a decade ago could return with ferocity. Badran maintained that Hamas is not responsible for the attack but indicated they have several supporters in the area that share their sentiment with the following statement:
“This attack affirms to everyone that our people will not abandon the resistance path.”
The last attack of this magnitude occurred in 2006. A suicide bomber detonated an explosive at the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, killing himself and nine others. Authorities fear that this event could mark the return of bombing attacks and are working feverishly to determine who is responsible so they may be brought to justice. Until then citizens and security forces are on high alert.
Do you think this bus bomb signifies an upcoming increase in terrorist activity in the Middle East? Sound off in the comment section below!