Tel Aviv bus bomb planted by Hamas cell, says Israel

For the first time in more than 10 years, a terrorist bomb was detonated on a bus in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

Two people were severely wounded and 19 lightly injured when a small explosive device was detonated by an unidentified man who jumped off the bus on Shaul Hamelech Street in central Tel Aviv. Israeli security sources believe that the terror attack was carried out by a Hamas cell operating from the West Bank but that it was hastily prepared and therefore nowhere near as devastating as the suicide bombings of a decade ago. Tel Aviv police launched a manhunt to capture the bomber but, as the JC went to press, he was still at large.

Hamas headquarters in Gaza had called upon Palestinians in the West Bank to carry out attacks on Israeli targets but many of its members there have been caught and imprisoned and most of those who are still free are under surveillance by Israeli and Palestinian Authority security services.

Their limited capability is the reason given by security officials for the relative lightness of the attack

A number of Palestinian organisations took responsibility, though not Hamas. Its spokesman, Fowzi Barhoum, said: “It is essential for suicide bombings to be carried out in Tel Aviv because Tel Aviv is where the order to murder Ahmed Jabari was given.”

Last updated: 2:45pm, November 22 2012