The site of the explosion that targeted a bus in Jerusalem on 23 November 2022. (Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi via Flash90)
At 7:06 am on 23 November, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a bus station on Shaarei Yerushalayim Street in Jerusalem, followed by another on Ramot street, injuring 22 and killing one Israeli settler.
According to Hebrew Channel 12, the IEDs were placed on the roadside and attempted to target fully occupied buses using a remote-detonation mechanism.
One of the two IEDs failed to detonate against the bus, instead hitting a passing vehicle just behind it. The delay in the cellphone connection needed to detonate the IED contributed to the failure of one of the attacks.
Reportedly, two passengers on Route 67 leading to Givat Shaul were slightly wounded by its shrapnel.
תיעוד: 7 בבוקר, פיצוץ עז מרעיד את הטרמפיאדה ביציאה מירושלים pic.twitter.com/B7upLVsNKg
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) November 23, 2022
Nonetheless, the other explosion successfully hit a bus and caused the majority of injuries, which have been described as varying between light and critical.
“We were at the MDA station by the entrance to the city when we heard a large explosion,” said two paramedics from Israel’s Red Cross, as quoted by CNN.
They went on to describe the chaos, as the two IEDs detonated several blocks apart, trapping whoever was in between in a state of awe.
“We immediately headed to the scene in large numbers, including ambulances, mobile intensive care units, and medi-cycles,” added the paramedics.
Causalities were transferred to several hospitals, including Shaare Zedek, Hadassah Ein Kerem, and Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospitals.
2 explosions in Jerusalem, Palestine carried out by resistance fighters this morning.
1 killed, 20 injuries, and 4 critical so far.
Israel blames Hamas. pic.twitter.com/UJg3zVEWnr
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) November 23, 2022
Israeli police and special forces were quickly dispatched to the scene and started to collect CCTV footage, to identify possible suspects. As of now, the Israeli security establishment has failed to name any suspects.
In an early assessment, Israeli officials believe the attack was perpetrated by a Hamas-affiliated cell operating in Jerusalem, and funded by the group’s leadership in Turkey.
“It’s a very difficult morning. There’s a high probability that there’s a connection between the attacks. These are not copycats. I believe that we’ll put our hand on all involved,” described the Internal Security Minister, Omer Bar-Lev, in a statement to the public.
His announcement was echoed by the Israeli police commissioner, Kobi Shabtai, who described the attack as complex, but stressed that they are “focused on scanning all the scenes, and call on the public to contact the emergency forces in case there’s anything out of the ordinary.”
WATCH: #BNNIsrael Reports.
Israeli police officers gathered evidence from the site of an explosion that targeted a bus station in Jerusalem, injuring up to 15 people, according to emergency services. #Israel #Crime pic.twitter.com/S9NMF9qD6s
— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) November 23, 2022
Joab Limor wrote in Israel Today that Israel’s General Security Agency, Shin Bet, is working extensively with the army to expose those who planted the IEDs, in a bid to locate the source of the explosives.
The security establishment assesses that the longer it takes to destroy the factory that manufactured these explosives, the possibility of additional similar attacks rises by the hour.
Earlier on 25 October, the Israeli army destroyed one of several bomb-making factories in Nablus, West bank, hailing it as a major success against the Lion’s Den resistance faction.
Nonetheless, the effort was not sufficient in neutralizing the threat posed by homemade explosives, as IED attacks against Israeli checkpoints in the occupied territories have occurred on a weekly basis throughout 2022.