An Israeli was killed and 14 others were wounded, in two separate explosions that occurred at 7 am local time in Jerusalem, according to a BBC News Arabic correspondent in the city.
The first explosion occurred at a bus station at one of the main entrances to West Jerusalem, while the second occurred about 20 minutes later in the Ramot neighborhood in West Jerusalem.
Rescue workers said that an explosion at a bus station at the entrance to Jerusalem injured 12 people, two of them seriously, while a second explosion at another station destroyed a bus and injured three others.
Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem announced the death of a man who was seriously injured in the first explosion, while ambulance teams are providing treatment to another person in critical condition, in addition to two serious and two minor injuries.
For its part, the “Hadassah” Medical Center reported that it was treating six people from the same explosion, including moderate injuries and five minor injuries. The hospital is also treating three people who were slightly injured in the second attack.
And the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Omer Bar-Lev, confirmed that he spoke with the police chief and “was informed of the two attacks that took place in Jerusalem.”
The newspaper “Haaretz” that the police are investigating the presence of an explosive device near the bus station in the neighborhood of Givat Shaul.
The Palestinian News Agency, Wafa, reported that the Israeli forces closed off major streets in Jerusalem, following the two explosions.
She added that the police intensified their military measures in the vicinity of the site of the explosion, and deployed its members in different areas of Jerusalem, in addition to setting up barriers and closing the main entrances leading to the city.
The bombings come at a time when former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is holding talks with allies to form a new right-wing government that includes members of religious and far-right parties.
Itamar Ben Gvir, a far-right lawmaker who is looking to take over as public security minister in the ongoing coalition talks to form a government, visited the site of the attack.
“We need to pay the price of terrorism,” Ben Gvir said, calling for additional measures against Palestinian prisoners and a return to the policy of targeted assassinations.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s office said it was consulting with the head of the Shin Bet security service and senior military officials.
Eli Levy, a police spokesman, told Israel’s Army Radio that the first explosion was caused by a powerful explosive device.
Levy added: “There has been no such coordinated attack in Jerusalem for several years.”
And the Israeli army radio said, earlier, that the explosive devices were hidden inside bags, at least one of which contained nails to maximize its impact.
Security camera footage, broadcast by the Israeli news site N12, showed the moment of the first explosion, with a sudden cloud of smoke rising from the bus station. Television showed debris strewn across the site, which was cordoned off by emergency service forces.
Palestinian welcome European condemnation
Hamas welcomed the operation and said that it comes within the framework of the continuous response to the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the attempts to Judaize and divide it, according to the movement.
Abd al-Latif al-Qanou, a spokesman for Hamas, said: “We congratulate our Palestinian people and our people in the occupied city of Jerusalem for the qualitative heroic operation at the bus stop, which comes within the framework of the continuous response to the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque, its Judaization, and the attempts to divide it.”
Daoud Shehab, spokesman for the Islamic Jihad Movement, said that what he described as the “heroic and important Jerusalem operation” came to deliver messages to extremist Israeli leaders that harming Jerusalem and the lives of Palestinians is a red line and will not go unanswered with all messages, as he put it.
He added, “We are facing an extremist Zionist government that seeks more annexation and bloodshed and declares war on our Palestinian people, and there are consensuses among them on that, and today we are facing qualitative, important and heroic operations.”
Dimitr Tzanchev, the European Union’s ambassador to Israel, said he was “distraught by the terrorist attacks”.
“I express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and my wishes for a speedy recovery to all those injured. Terrorism has no justification,” he wrote on Twitter.
The blasts, which bear echoes of the bus bombings that characterized Palestinians between 2000 and 2005, follow months of tension in the occupied West Bank after the Israeli military cracked down on a series of deadly attacks in Israel.
In the West Bank, late Tuesday evening, Palestinian gunmen kept the body of an Israeli youth who died in a Palestinian hospital in Jenin after being injured in a car accident, according to the Israeli army.
It was not clear why the gunmen took the body, and there was no direct indication of any connection between this incident and the bombings in Jerusalem.
And the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz” reported this morning that Palestinian gunmen are holding the body of an 18-year-old Israeli who was killed in a car accident in the northern occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper said that gunmen took the body of the young man, thinking that he might be a soldier or an officer in the Israeli intelligence.
Haaretz newspaper reported that Israeli and Palestinian officials are communicating to retrieve the body.
“It is expected that (the body) will be returned to his family in Israel as soon as possible, as a required humanitarian measure,” the Israeli army said in a statement.
Local media also reported that Israeli forces killed a 16-year-old Palestinian during armed clashes yesterday that erupted in the West Bank city of Nablus, after the forces entered the area to secure the entry of Jewish worshipers to a nearby shrine.
The official Palestinian News Agency, Wafa, reported that a large number of forces entered the area, in preparation for what it described as a “settler incursion”.
Wafa confirmed that the entry of the forces led to clashes with the citizens, during which the soldiers fired bullets.
The Israeli news website Ynet reported that the army exchanged fire with what it described as “armed terrorists” while preparing to secure the entry of hundreds of Jewish worshipers to Joseph’s Tomb, a site sacred to Jews and Muslims that Jews regularly visit under the army’s protection.
The Israeli army has not issued any statement about the incident so far.
Violence has erupted this year, particularly in the occupied West Bank, after the Israeli army launched almost daily raids since a series of deadly attacks on Israeli targets earlier this year.
According to United Nations figures, more than 125 Palestinians were killed this year at the hands of Israeli security forces in the West Bank, which is far more than in previous years.