A bus exploded in Tel Aviv in what police are describing as a terrorist attack.
At least 21 people were injured in Wednesday’s blast, according to a spokesman at Sourasky Medical Center – Ichilov Hospital.
The bus exploded at noon in the heart of Tel Aviv, near the central army base called the Kirya. The the injured were taken to Ichilov hospital.
Police said they believe a bomb stuffed with ball bearings and screws was tossed on the bus when its doors opened at a stop. Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but Hamas had warned that it would strike back at Israel after its assassination last week of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari.
That killing marked the start of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, meant to bring a halt to the rocket fire from Gaza.
Palestinians in Gaza City began celebrating in the streets when news of the bus attack became known, according to Israel’s Channel 1.
“The United States condemns today’s terrorist attack on a bus in Tel Aviv. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those injured, and with the people of Israel.” White House spokesman James Carney said in a statement.
“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. The United States reaffirms our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people.”
“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,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement after leaving Israel, where she had met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She also went to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.