One Israeli was killed and more than 20 injured on Wednesday, Nov. 23, in two explosions at bus stops located near entrances to Jerusalem. Authorities believe that the source of the blasts were two remotely detonated bombs packed with nails to cause maximum damage.
Police described the explosives as “high quality,” and suggested an organized terror cell planned and carried out the attack.
The first explosion occurred near the main entrance to the Israeli capital shortly after 7 a.m., and the second followed about 30 minutes later, at the Ramot junction.
Eighteen people were injured in the first blast, five seriously, with one later succumbing to his wounds, according to medics. Several people were lightly injured in the second explosion or were suffering from anxiety.
The victims were evacuated to Jerusalem’s Shaare Tzedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem medical centers.
The deceased was identified as 16-year-old Israeli Aryeh Shechopek, a resident of Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood who was on his way to study studying in his religious school, Harei Yehudah yeshiva Moshav Beit Meir.
Canadian Ambassador to Israel Lisa Stadelbauer confirmed that Shechopek also held Canadian citizenship.
Heartbroken to confirm that a young Canadian lost his life in this morning’s reprehensible terror attack in Jerusalem. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to others wounded in this attack. Canada continues to condemn all forms of terror.
— Lisa Stadelbauer (@LisaStadelbauer) November 23, 2022
Hundreds of people attended Shechopek’s funeral on Wednesday afternoon in Har Nof.
Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai visited one of the scenes and held a situation assessment together with Jerusalem Police District head Doron Turgeman.
“This is a type of attack that we haven’t seen for many years,” said Shabtai.
He called on the public to be alert for suspicious packages, adding that every bus in Jerusalem would be searched.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a situation analysis following the attack, together with the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Defense Forces deputy chief of staff.
Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Praying for the peace of the injured in the combined attack in Jerusalem this morning and strengthening the hands of the security forces operating in the field.”
He added in a follow-up message: “I am sending condolences on behalf of all citizens of Israel to the family of Aryeh Shechopek…who was killed today in the terrible terrorist attack. May his memory be for a blessing.”
United States Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides wrote on Twitter that he was “appalled” by the “cowardly” attack, and that his “heart breaks for the families of those who were harmed.”
Nides confirmed Wednesday night that two American citizens were among those wounded in two explosions at busy bus stops located near entrances to Jerusalem earlier in the day.
“Sadly, I can now confirm that two U.S. citizens were among those injured in today’s terror attacks in Jerusalem,” tweeted Nides. “As we head into Thanksgiving, I am grateful that they will recover. I pray for a peaceful holiday in the U.S., Jerusalem, or wherever you may be celebrating.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid convened a security meeting on Wednesday afternoon attended by, among others, Gantz, Shabtai, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev.
Hamas praised the attack, saying in a statement that the “Zionist enemy” was “paying the price today for its crimes and aggression against our [Palestinian] people.”
The attack on Wednesday is the second deadly terrorist incident in as many weeks. Recently , three Israelis were killed and three others wounded when a Palestinian went on a stabbing and car-ramming rampage in and around the city of Ariel in Samaria.