A bomb hidden in a bag exploded on a bus in Bat Yam after passengers were evacuated from the vehicle. Hamas and Islamic Jihad “welcomed” the terror attack.
“A passenger alerted the driver about a suspicious bag located behind the back door of the bus,” a spokesperson for the Dan bus company said. “The driver stopped the bus and examined the bag. He saw electrical wires attached to the bag and ordered all passengers off the bus, leaving after them. He then called police sappers.”
Within minutes there was a powerful blast, blowing out most of the windows of the bus.
"After examining the explosives retrieved from the scene, we have concluded that this was a terrorist attack," police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad “welcomed” the terror attack, but did not claim responsibility for the bombing, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported. In an official press release issued by Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, the organization welcomed the attack, that was a “response to the crimes of the occupation.” An Islamic Jihad source said he hoped this attack “could usher the resumption of suicide attacks.”
In an interview with Al Aqsa TV, the Hamas official broadcasting station, senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Ahmed Almadalel praised the recent attempted terror attack in Bat Yam. Almadalel told the interviewer that “there are many operations such as this – carried out by lone individuals or organizations – and it only stresses the fact that the conflict with the Zionist enemy is far from over. I believe that the acts will continue and we would like to stress, as ever, that we are on the verge of a huge explosion in the face of our Zionist enemy for its crimes against our people.”
President Peres phoned and thanked bus driver Michael Yoger and passenger, David Papo, whose actions saved lives and averted injuries in the explosion on the #240 bus in Bat Yam.
On December 23, an Israel Police officer was stabbed by a terrorist at the Adam checkpoint north of Jerusalem. He suffered moderate injuries.
On December 24, stones were thrown at a bus traveling in the West Bank near Qalqilya. Magen David Adom paramedics arrived at the scene and attended to the bus driver who sustained head injuries.