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At Least 1 Killed, 22 wounded in Bombing in Jerusalem by “Organized Terror Cell”

When we move to Israel in 2003, bus bombings were part of life. But after the security fence was erected, they slowly declined—to the point that I cannot even remember the last one. And then there was this morning.

Wednesday morning’s commute to work, school, and yeshiva in Jerusalem was rocked by two “high quality” bombs that ripped through crowds gathered at bus stops, sending nails and other shrapnel into bystanders. At least one person—a young Canadian Israeli man—was killed, and 22 others were wounded.

Police suspect a “highly organized” terror cell, rather than just one person, based on the coordinated nature of the attack and the sophistication of the bombs. The bombs, which were hidden behind a bus stop and in a bush, were set off 30 minutes apart, near the entrances to Jerusalem. Police are on the hunt for the terrorists.

“I believe we will capture the terror cell,” Deputy Commissioner Sigal Bar Zvi said.

The head of police operations said, “two high-quality, powerful explosive devices with a high level of damage.” One bomb was detonated at 7 am and the other at 7:30 am, both at peak commuter traffic times and at junctions that provide entrance into the city. While Israeli intelligence is always vigilant, police reported they had no specific warnings prior to the attacks.

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai called the coordinated bombings a “framework of attack that we haven’t seen for many years.”

While Hamas is praising the attacks, no group has claimed responsibility for the bombings yet.

Aryeh Schupak, a 16-year-old yeshiva student from Canada, was killed in the first attack. At least 22 others were wounded in the bombings, and a few are in critical or serious condition.

There are reports that the terrorists waited until the bus stops were filled with commuters before detonating the bombs. The father of one injured teen said that shortly before the explosion, his son saw a man taking pictures of the bus stop.

“He took pictures of the people at the bus stop and disappeared,” said Avi Biton. “My son was injured by a lot of shrapnel. He has one piece of shrapnel that is right in the skull, which cannot be removed, near a blood vessel. He has fractures in his vertebrae and pelvis and bleeding in his stomach.”

Bus bombings were the calling card of terrorists during the Second Intifada (2000-2005). Thanks to better intelligence, the West Bank security barrier, and other security measures, bombings on public transport have only occurred a handful of times since those years—in 2011, 2016, and now, today. Today we pray that this is not a return to the past.

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Shalom from Israel! I am Ron Cantor and this is my blog. I serve as the President of Shelanu TV.

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