A terrorist attack on a central Tel Aviv bus resulted in 28 people being hospitalized on
Wednesday morning in the first such attack in the city since 2006.
bomb exploded on the Dan No. 142 bus line on Shaul Hamelech Street near the
Defense Ministry headquarters and around the corner from Ichilov Hospital,
blowing out all the windows of the bus and leaving dozens in need of medical
The attack was not a suicide bombing, and police said they
are investigating whether the attacker left a bomb on the bus or threw something
on and ran. Police did say that one man was seen fleeing the site, but would not
confirm reports that a suspect had been arrested.
Driver Nachum Herzi
said the bus was not very full when the explosion happened, and that after the
blast, he continued to drive for a few meters until he was able to pull over and
help passengers off. Herzi, who was not wounded, said he did not see anyone
suspicious board the bus before the explosion, a statement that was heard repeatedly at Ichilov Hospital, which is part of
Sourasky Medical Center.
The hospital reported on Wednesday night that,
of a total 28 patients taken for treatment, five remained in the hospital, one
in moderate condition and four with for light injuries. Twelve people of those
hospitalized were treated for shock and released, while the rest were lightly or
The hospital originally reported that two teenagers
were the most seriously wounded, but by 6 p.m. on Wednesday they reported that
both had been discharged from the hospital.
Doctors said that, judging by
the small number of severe injuries, the bomb was not as large as those used in
previous terrorist attacks in the city.
A look at the bus on Wednesday
confirmed this assertion. Although it was severely damaged, the bus was not a
smoldering, charred wreck and the devastation was not the same as Israelis saw
in the suicide bombings of the second intifada of 2000 to 2005.
Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch visited the hospital after the attack and
said that the ministry and police, expecting attempts to carry out terrorist
attacks on civilians during Operation Pillar of Defense, had deployed police and
Border Police forces across the country to deal with the threat.
said that security forces had suspicions about which terrorist organization was
responsible for the attack, but would not elaborate.
On Wednesday night,
police reported that they were still on the hunt for a man seen fleeing the
scene, who they believe was involved in the bombing. They added that they have
beefed up patrols around the city to find the suspect and prevent further
attacks from taking place.
There were major traffic jams reported
throughout the Dan region, as well as in the Modi’in area as police set up
For residents of Tel Aviv, the blast was a bitter reminder of
the terrorism of the second intifada, when Tel Aviv and other cities across the
country were repeatedly hit by suicide bombings that changed the fabric of
For Amira Castro, 56, who was hospitalized with shock after
witnessing the bombing, the answer was simple: The IDF must launch a ground
operation in the Gaza Strip in order to bring peace and quiet to the home
“I have four sons in combat units, and as much as I worry about
them, and I know we’ll pay a price in an invasion, we have no security for our
citizens and the government must do something to make our suffering stop,” she
Castro added that in the meantime she won’t be riding buses in Tel
At the scene of the bombing on Wednesday, a young Palestinian
couple from Kalkilya walked their daughter away from the bombing, and made their
way to the bus station after they had taken her for treatment at Ichilov
Hospital around the corner.
As his daughter cried and he tried to calm
her down, Bader Badir voiced a desire for quiet on both sides, and expressed his
opposition to violence against civilians, both in Gaza and in
Paramedic Israel Kornik said at the site of the bombing, “If this
is happening while we’re talking about a cease-fire, why stop [Operation Pillar
of Defense]? We can’t stop; the IDF must keep working until they finish the
Haim Shefer, 62, said he was at his home about 100 meters from the
blast but did not think it was a terrorist attack because the blast was
When asked if he thinks the era of terrorist attacks could be
making a return, he said, “I don’t think so. They’re trying to get us here to
show that if we hit them, they’ll hit us. But they can’t win by force and
neither can we.
“I’m against a ground invasion. It’s time for both
sides to sit down and talk,” Shefer said.