How interesting. During a time in which international pressure mounts on Israel to agree to a cease fire, the violence escalates dramatically in the epicenter:
Terrorists detonated an explosive device on a public bus on Tel Aviv's Shaul Hamelech Street around noon Wednesday. A total of 21 people were injured the attack.
Of the 21 victims brought to the hospital, the two most seriously wounded are teenagers, head of emergency medicine Prof. Halperin said, although he noted that none of them had life-threatening injuries.
Police confirmed that the explosion was a terrorist attack, although said it did not appear to be a suicide bombing and thus police were searching the area for additional explosive devises. The bus was on Dan's number 142 line.
While it appeared the bomb was left on the bus and not the result of a suicide bombing, Ohayon said that at this point in time, "it is very difficult to say exactly what happened."
Eyewitnesses said that that the terrorist boarded the bus, placed a suspicious package there and then fled. Others said he threw a briefcase into the middle of the bus. Policearrested one suspect but later released him when it became clear he had no connection with the attack.
Netanyahu's spokesman said it was "a terrorist attack."
Gaza Arabs celebrated the attack, and Hamas officials said it was carried out in revenge for Israeli aerial bombings in Gaza that killed several members of one family.
Hamas praised the terrorist bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv Wednesday afternoon, but stopped short of claiming responsibility.
"Hamas blesses the attack in Tel Aviv and sees it as a natural response to the Israeli massacres...in Gaza," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters. "Palestinian factions will resort to all means in order to protect our Palestinian civilians in the absence of a world effort to stop the Israeli aggression."
On Twitter, Hamas's armed wing posted: "We told you #IDF that our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are, 'You opened the Gates of Hell on Yourselves.'"
Sweet cakes were handed out in celebration in Gaza's main hospital, which has been inundated with wounded from IAF strikes as part of Operation Pillar of Defense. Celebratory gunfire reportedly rang out as news of the attack spread throughout the Strip.
Gazan rocket fire at southern Israel resumed on Wednesday morning after a relatively quiet night on the Israeli side.
Terrorists fired over 62 rockets at various cities and communities in the South, with one person mildly injured according to Magen David Adom. One rocket hit a house in Be'er Tuviya directly. No one was injured in this attack.
The Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted at least 20 rockets fired from Gaza on Ashkelon, Beersheba, Be'er Tuviya, Hof Ashkelon and Ashdod on Wednesday morning.
Overnight Tuesday IAF airstrikes and naval attacks hit around 100 targets throughout the Gaza Strip. Approximately 50 of the terror sites targeted were underground rocket launchers, the IDF Spokesman's Office stated.
For the second time since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas on Tuesday afternoon fired rockets that landed in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
Sirens were heard in the capital city just before 2:15 p.m. and an explosion was heard moments later. According to reports, two rockets landed in an open area near the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, which lies approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) south of Jerusalem.
Hamas unleashed new rounds of rocket missile bombardments on southern Israel Wednesday morning as United Nations and Americanofficials try to reach a ceasefire.
The Iron Dome anti-missile system blew up at least a dozen missiles, including those aimed at Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon.
The rocket fire and continued IDF aerial strikes on terrorists in Gaza continued at the same time U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is meeting with regional leaders to try to help hammer out a ceasefire.
Clinton and Ban presumably are trying to work out a way to meet Israel’s demand that there will not be a repeat of violations of previous ceasefires.
They also have to find a way to convince Hamas to accept a ceasefire without meeting its demand that Israel remove the maritime embargo, which helps prevent the smuggling of arms into Gaza. It is highly doubtful that Israel would agree to remove the embargo, a move that would enable Hamas to freely bring in long-range missiles and anti-aircraft missiles from Iran.
Iran has sent financial and military aid to Hamas in Gaza in an attempt to boost the efforts of the terrorist groupas it continuously and unremittingly launches attacks against the Jewish state, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on Wednesday.
"We are proud to defend the people of Palestine and Hamas ... and that our assistance to them has been bothfinancial and military," he said without elaborating, in remarks reported by parliament's website, ICANA.ir,according to AFP.
Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at a kibbutz in the Eshkol region on Tuesday killed 18-year-old IDF soldier Yosef Fartuk and Alian Salem Alanbari, a married man with children from the Bedouin village of Rejwan in the Negev.
Five other soldiers stationed on the kibbutz on the Israel-Gaza border were injured in the attack.
Fartuk was the fourth Israeli and Alanbari the fifth to be killed in rocket attacks since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense last Wednesday. Three residents of the southern town of Kiryat Malachi died in a rocket strike on their home on Thursday.
While the death toll from the Israel-Gaza conflict has mounted, Hezbollah has offered quiet words of encouragement to the Palestinians, pledging support and calling on Arab states to send them weapons to fight Israel. But beyond that, the Lebanese militant group appears to be staying firmly on the sidelines.
Despite its own formidable missile arsenal and its reputation as the region’s leading anti-Israel resistance force, Hezbollah is approaching the Gaza crisis with caution, mindful that any action it takes could backfire at a time when the group faces unprecedented challenges at home.
Hezbollah has tried to use Israel’s campaign in Gaza — launched in an attempt to stop militant rocket fire — to shift the narrative away from Syria and back to its familiar ground of “resistance.”
“Iran, Syria and Hezbollah will not abandon Gaza and its people, and just as we were with them over the past several years we will continue to stand by them. This is our religious and moral and humanitarian obligation,” he said in a speech to his supporters Monday night.
Founded in 1982 with Iranian support to fight Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, Hezbollah has since grown into one of the most robust, organized and sophisticated resistance groups in the world with a small army of about 6,000 fighters.
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