Amid Rush Hour in Jerusalem, 2 Giant Blasts

Teen killed, 18 hurt after bomb attacks at 2 Israeli bus stations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 23, 2022 8:49 AM CST
Teen Killed, 18 Hurt After Dual Blasts in Jerusalem
People examine the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Two blasts went off near bus stops in Jerusalem at the height of morning rush hour on Wednesday, killing a Canadian-Israeli teenager and injuring at least 18, in what police said were suspected attacks by Palestinians. The first explosion occurred near a typically crowded bus stop on the edge of the city, per the AP. The second went off about a half-hour later in Ramot, a settlement in the city's north. Police said one person died from their wounds and at least three were seriously wounded in the blasts. The victim was identified as Aryeh Shechopek, a teenager heading to a Jewish seminary when the blast went off, per a notice announcing his death. Shechopek was also a Canadian citizen, per Lisa Stadelbauer, Canada's ambassador to Israel. There were conflicting reports on Shechopek's exact age.

Police, who were searching for the suspected attackers, said initial findings showed that shrapnel-laden explosive devices were placed at the two sites. Video from shortly after the initial blast showed debris strewn along the sidewalk as the wail of ambulances blared. A bus in Ramot was pocked with what looked like shrapnel marks. "It was a crazy explosion," a medic who was at the scene when the first blast occurred told Israeli Army Radio. "I saw people with wounds bleeding all over the place." While Palestinians have carried out stabbings, car rammings, and shootings in recent years, bombing attacks have become very rare since the end of a Palestinian uprising nearly two decades ago. The New York Times reports these were the first bomb attacks against Israeli citizens since 2016.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been surging for months, amid nightly Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank prompted by a spate of deadly attacks against Israelis that killed 19 people in the spring. There's been an uptick in recent weeks in Palestinian attacks. Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Israel would track down the attackers. "They can run, they can hide—it won't help them," he said in a statement. The developments took place as former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is holding coalition talks after national elections and is likely to return to power as head of what's expected to be Israel's most right-wing government ever. Israel said that, in response to the blasts, it was closing two West Bank crossings to Palestinians near the West Bank city of Jenin, a militant stronghold. Palestinian officials haven't yet commented.

(Read more Jerusalem stories.)

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