The terrorist bombing of a Tel Aviv bus wounded 23 this morning. The last time there was an attack like this in Tel Aviv was 2006, and it raises the obvious questions about the danger of this conflict taking repeated aim at the bustling population center. This wasn’t a suicide bombing, and the two suspects are reportedly on the run.
Also, in case there was any doubt this would hinder a potential cease-fire deal, the Jerusalem Post reports that Hamas has already started celebrating in Gaza:
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 White House and Hillary Clinton, who had just arrived in Cairo to help broker a cease-fire, released the following statements:
The White House denounced the attack, saying “these attacks against innocent Israeli civilians are outrageous.”
“The United States will stand with our Israeli allies, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
“The United States strongly condemns this terrorist attack and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the people of Israel.” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.
“As I arrive in Cairo, I am closely monitoring reports from Tel Aviv, and we will stay in close contact with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s team. The United States stands ready to provide any assistance that Israel requires,” she added.
Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has claimed responsibility for the attack, but JPost says police haven’t confirmed.