Bus bombing in Tel Aviv suspected to be terror attack

A bomb exploded today on a public bus traveling near Tel Aviv. No one was injured as all passengers and the driver managed to evacuate upon the discovery of a suspicious object, later discovered to be a bomb.

Authorities are currently treating the incident as a terror attack, Israeli police said in a statement. The attack has thus far gone unclaimed. However, both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised the attack, the Times of Israel reported.

Israeli officials as well as the US State Department denounced the attack.

Today’s bombing was the first such attack since November 2012, when Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives detonated a bomb on a bus in Tel Aviv. That attack injured over 20 people.

This past October, Israeli forces attempted to arrest Mohammed Asi, a Palestinian terrorist wanted in connection with the November 2012 bombing. Asi was killed in clashes that ensued after he resisted arrest.

In recent weeks, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officials have warned that a third Intifada is in the offing. For example, following the killing of Asi in October, Turkey-based Hamas operative Saleh Aruri called for attacks from the West Bank. Aruri, a founder of Hamas’ Izz al Din al Qassam Brigades in the West Bank, is currently believed to be in charge of coordinating Hamas’ efforts in the area, Haaretz reported on Dec. 21.

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