JERUSALEM ( Associated Press) — Two explosions rocked a Jerusalem bus stop Wednesday, killing at least 14 people and wounding at least 14 others in what police said were suspected attacks by Palestinians.
One of the blasts occurred near a bus stop on the outskirts of the city, where crowds of commuters usually wait for buses. The second was recorded in Ramoth, a neighborhood in the north of the city. Hospitals said they received a dozen injured, two with serious injuries and two others in critical condition.
The alleged attacks come at a time when tensions run high between Israelis and Palestinians, months after Israeli raids on the West Bank sparked a series of deadly attacks on Israelis that killed 19 people. Attacks by Palestinians have increased in recent weeks.
The violence comes even as former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in talks to form a coalition after national elections and is likely to form Israel’s most right-wing government.
Police said the explosions occurred amid heavy traffic, closing part of a main highway leading out of the city where the first explosion occurred.
“It was madness. There is damage everywhere here,” Yosef Haim Gebe, a medic who was at the site when the first explosion occurred, told Israel Military Radio. “I saw people bleeding all over the place.”
While Palestinians have reported stabbings, run-overs and shootings in recent years, bombings have been very rare since the end of a Palestinian uprising nearly two decades ago.
The Hamas terrorist group, which rules the Gaza Strip and once carried out suicide bombings against Israelis, praised the blasters, calling it a heroic operation, but did not claim responsibility.
Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Kanua said, “The occupation is reaping a price for its crimes and aggression against our people.”