Twin blasts in Jerusalem kill at least 1, injure over a dozen: Police

Two U.S. citizens were among the injured.

November 23, 2022, 11:23 AM

Twin blasts near bus stops in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning killed at least one person and injured 15 others -- including two Americans -- in what Israeli police described as a suspected "coordinated terror attack."

"Not an easy morning," Israel Police Commissioner R.N. Yaakov Shabtai said during a press conference. "This kind of attack has not been seen for many years -- two attacks in a row. The main effort of the Israel Police is currently scanning all areas -- bus stops, transportation and crowd gatherings -- at the same time as the manhunt to get hold of the perpetrator of the attack. We will do everything in our power together with all the other security forces to reach this cell."

Both explosions went off near separate bus stops during the morning rush hour -- the first on the edge of Jerusalem and the second in the city's northern Ramot neighborhood. Four of the wounded were hospitalized in serious condition, according to police.

"It is a rolling terror incident," Jerusalem District Commander Superintendent Doron Turgeman told reporters. "We are currently still in the stages of scanning and activity at the scene of the incident and in the wider scope. The investigation is in its infancy with all the force, both the district forces and national reinforcements."

The person who died was a Canadian citizen, according to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Incredibly saddened to learn about the death of a young Canadian in the terrorist attack in Jerusalem," Trudeau said in a Twitter post on Wednesday. "I'm sending his family and friends my deepest condolences. I'm also thinking of those who were injured. Canada condemns this violence in the strongest possible terms."

PHOTO: Israeli border police walk past a damaged bus following explosions in Jerusalem Nov. 23, 2022.
Israeli border police walk past a damaged bus following explosions in Jerusalem Nov. 23, 2022.
Ammar Awad/Reuters

Two American citizens were among those injured, according to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides.

"As we head into Thanksgiving, I am grateful that they will recover," Nides said in a Twitter post on Wednesday. "I pray for a peaceful holiday in the U.S., Jerusalem, or wherever you may be celebrating."

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the apparent attacks in Israel.

"We condemn unequivocally the acts of terror overnight in Jerusalem," Jean-Pierre said. "The United States has offered all appropriate assistance to the Government of Israel as it investigates the attack and works to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Israeli police said a manhunt for the perpetrators was underway, with hundreds of officers and border guards working with security forces to conduct searches on the ground and in the air.

Police asked members of the public to avoid the areas of the blasts, where investigators and bomb squads remain on scene.

PHOTO: Israeli police inspect the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Israeli police inspect the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Ohad Zwigenberg/AP

The apparent attacks came amid heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians as well as an uptick in deadly violence. For the past several months, Israeli security forces have been conducting nightly raids in the occupied West Bank, prompted by a string of attacks against Israelis that have left 19 people dead.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were displaced from their homes during a war that accompanied Israel's creation in 1948. Some Palestinian refugees were rehoused in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem, just outside the Old City, by the Jordanian government in the 1950s -- before Israel captured the city from Jordan during the 1967 war, along with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Palestinians want to include the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in their hoped-for independent state, with east Jerusalem as their eventual capital. The U.S. government has voiced support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which would create an independent Israel and Palestine. However, former U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 2017 and relocated the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv in 2018, a controversial move that was welcomed by Israelis and condemned by Palestinians.

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