Published on : Monday, December 23, 2013
A bomb exploded on a bus in Bat Yam near Tel Aviv just minutes after passengers were asked to get off from the bus. The timing was perfect and prevented causalities. It may have been a terrorist attack said police sources who feel that the initial evidence show that there may have been a hand of Palestinian militants. This blast was the first of its kind in this year.
The driver of the bus, Michael Yoger, said that passengers had noticed a large bag that had been left on a seat. When nobody claimed it, one of the passengers looked inside and saw wires, Mr. Yoger told the Israeli news media, adding that he then told the passengers to leave the bus. About 10 minutes later, he said, there was an explosion.
There were no other injuries however a police officer on the bomb squad at the scene had his hearing affected by the blast, according to Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman. He said that based on the type of explosive device in the bag and the fact that it had been planted on a public bus, Clearly states that it was a terrorist attack.
President Shimon Peres of Israel thanked the bus driver in a telephone call, telling him that the whole nation is saying prayers of thanks today; as he saved so many lives with the speed and bravery of his actions.
The United States condemned the bombing. Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said in a statement that violent acts targeting civilians are deplorable. She reaffirm United States’ unshakable bond with Israel.
None of the Palestinian groups claimed responsibility for the bomb blast; however Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, praised the act. Islamic Jihad too praised the act.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed in July after months of stagnation, but they have been accompanied by tensions in the West Bank and along Israel’s border with Gaza. More than 20 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces this year, according to Palestinian officials. Three Israeli soldiers and a retired colonel have been killed in recent months by Palestinians from the West Bank. Scores of Israelis were killed in Palestinian suicide bombings on buses, in shopping centers and cafes during the second Palestinian uprising that broke out in 2000.