JERUSALEM—A terrorist bus bombing in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday afternoon left 7 people injured, 3 of which were categorized as “severe” by medical teams at the scene. At around 12:30 p.m. local time, one bomb exploded in a Tel Aviv bus at the major intersection of Henrietta Szold and Shaul Ha’Melech Streets.
The bombing was not a suicide attack and Tel Aviv police are reportedly combing the city for the culprit. Journalists inside Gaza reported via Twitter hearing announcement made by Hamas of the bombing, and subsequent gunfire sounding in celebration.
The area where the bombing occurred was almost immediately cordoned off to prevent injuries. Reports from the scene indicated that police were also planning to detonate the remainder of the wreckage to detonate a possible secondary explosion.
Israel Ohayun, a 45-year-old shop manger saw the explosion.
“I saw people injured shouting and crying,” he said, adding, ”It is shocking to see this. It’s difficult. It was a big explosion, there was smoke, dust. Then I stood still and did not move. To see such a thing in the heart of your country is painful.”
According to the medical response team, Magen David, the wounded were taken to Sorasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv for treatment.
“I came five minutes after the explosion, it was scary, really scary,” said Shoval Bitan a 24 year-old student, who is originally from southern Israel. “[In the south] we heard all the time sirens and explosions, and we came here and now there’s a terrorist attack. It’s scary to walk down the street, it’s scary to do things. It’s scary to go on a bus.”
Bitam added that until now attacks have been with rockets only, but now things have become more “serious.”
“I’m sad that this is the reality,” she added. “It’s impossible that we should live like this, 24 hours a day. We have the right to protect ourselves.”
Ben Kaminsky in Tel Aviv contributed to this report.