Hamas praised the terrorist bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv Wednesday afternoon, but stopped short of claiming responsibility.
"Hamas blesses the attack in Tel Aviv and sees it as a natural response to the Israeli massacres...in Gaza," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters. "Palestinian factions will resort to all means in order to protect our Palestinian civilians in the absence of a world effort to stop the Israeli aggression."
On Twitter, Hamas's armed wing posted: "We told you #IDF that our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are, 'You opened the Gates of Hell on Yourselves.'"
Sweet cakes were handed out in celebration in Gaza's main hospital, which has been inundated with wounded from IAF strikes as part of Operation Pillar of Defense. Celebratory gunfire reportedly rang out as news of the attack spread throughout the Strip.
The last time a bomb blast hit Israel's commercial capital was in April 2006, when a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people at a sandwich stand near the old central bus station.
Hamas terrorists have fired at least four rockets at Tel Aviv over the past week, but none of them have scored direct hits or caused any casualties.
Palestinian media reports said the Fatah-linked Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade took responsibility for the attack, although that was unconfirmed.
The terrorist attack on Shaul Hamelech Street in central Tel Aviv injured a total of 23 people, according to police, one person severely.
None of the injuries were life-threatening.