Israel Says Tel Aviv Bus Blast a 'Terrorist Attack', Hamas Welcomes 'Operation'

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An explosion aboard an empty Israeli bus near Tel Aviv on Sunday that did not kill or wound anyone was a "terrorist attack," police said.

"After examining the explosives retrieved from the scene, we have concluded that this was a terrorist attack," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France Presse.

"An investigation has been opened and our forces have been deployed in the area to try to identify suspects."

Police had said earlier that a sapper was examining a suspicious object found on the empty bus in the seaside town of Bat Yam when it exploded, but was unhurt.

The driver of the bus had spotted an unattended bag on board, stopped the vehicle and ordered passengers to disembark, Rosenfeld said.

But bus company Dan said the driver had been tipped off by a passenger.

"The passenger opened the backpack and saw wires," news website Ynet quoted Dan spokesman Eitan Fiksman as saying.

The authorities had initially suggested the attack might have been connected to an often violent power struggle among gangsters in the Bat Yam area.

"We urge the public to be particularly vigilant on public transport including buses and trains, and in shopping centers in case of other attempted attacks," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP.

There was no immediate claim for the attack, but a spokesman for the Islamist Hamas movement ruling Gaza praised the operation.

"Hamas welcomes the Bat Yam operation and considers it a courageous and heroic response to the crimes of the occupation," Fawzi Barhum said.

The last bombing to target Israeli public transport was in November last year, when a blast hit a crowded commuter bus as it passed the Israeli defense ministry in Tel Aviv during rush hour, injuring 17 people.

In 2011 an explosion ripped through a bus at a stop in Jerusalem, killing a British tourist and wounding 30 other people.

Israel said the 2011 and November 2012 blasts were the work of Palestinian militants.

In an October 2013 West Bank raid, Israeli troops killed Islamic Jihad militant Mohammed Assi, described by the army as the "planner" of the 2012 Tel Aviv bus bomb, in a firefight.

Comments 12
Thumb _mowaten_ 22 December 2013, 18:05

probably a set up to justify killing 31 Palestinians, arresting 500 and destroying 208 homes since the "peace talks" started again in july.

Thumb _mowaten_ 22 December 2013, 19:32

eh akid bani, hezbollah has enemies so weak and useless that they have to kill their own, to make it a bit exciting.

Thumb _mowaten_ 22 December 2013, 22:08

yea you're too busy killing arabs to kill your own asaf. many say that if let to themselves, ashkenazis and sepharadis would be at each other's throats, but i guess we will never know, because you both will be kicked out of stolen land before that happens.

Thumb _mowaten_ 22 December 2013, 22:09

as for the point i was making above, the bomb was set to explode when no one was around, which i why i was suspicious.

Thumb kanaandian 23 December 2013, 00:42

u pro hizb guys are still taking the side of the palestinians when they hate you. the demise of hizb will come naturally at this rate.

Thumb _mowaten_ 23 December 2013, 13:28

u pro israel guys are still taking the side of israelis when they hate and despise you. your demise already came at their hands decades ago.

Thumb _mowaten_ 23 December 2013, 13:30

the difference being, when the LF worked for israel, they did it expecting a reward, like mercy and the presidency of lebanon for instance, and they got dumped instead like used diapers when things got too hot.
whereas hezbollah is taking the side of palestinians because they expect a reward or are afraid, but because of what the just cause is as well as lebanon's interest. zionism is not only a threat to Palestine.

Thumb lebanon_first 22 December 2013, 20:34

a terrorist attack that does not kill innocent citizens in Israel is not a bad thing.

Thumb benzona 22 December 2013, 21:39

This wasnt a hezz attack. The Chias attack buses in Bulgaria or Syria. Not Israel.

Thumb joesikemrex 23 December 2013, 01:41

Thankfully this bus was empty. Buses can be replaced, people can't. Terrorists must be brought to justice.
Merry Christmas.

Missing the1habibshartouni 23 December 2013, 10:24

Good work

Missing phillipo 23 December 2013, 11:50

I presume you are talking about the good work of the bus driver, getting everyone off the bus before the explosion.
Otherwise, it was a very bad attempt to cause trouble.