Day after Israel rejects ceasefire, bus explodes in Tel Aviv outside IDF Spokesperson office

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Unconfirmed photograph of Tel Aviv bus bombing, 21 November 2012. (Photo: @Vostvitzech/Twitter)

Just after noon on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 a bus exploded in Tel Aviv near the office of Avital Leibovich, the official Israel military spokesperson. Israel’s Channel 10 reported 18 were injured and checkpoints have been erected near the site of the attack. Commenting on Twitter Leibovich said, “A bus explodes under my Tel Aviv office. Possibly due to a bomb or suicide bomber. Hearing the sirens of the ambulances.” Continuing, “Now hearing the sound of an helicopter circling in the air and police asking people to clear the scenes.”

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The explosion comes after the release of a Hebrew video with Arabic subtitles five days ago by al-Qassam Brigades threatening to resume suicide bombings inside of Israel, if the siege on Gaza is not lifted. “We have missed the suicide [bombs]” said the video, continuing “wait for us soon in stores, buses and cafes.” At this time it is not yet confirmed that the bus bombing was carried out by an affiliate of al-Qassam Brigades.

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Protest outside of al-Mukataa, the Palestinian Authority compound in Ramallah, 21 November 2012. (Photo: @occupy2gether/Twitter)

The attack took place while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Haaretz reported that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire fell apart at the last minute yesterday over Israeli demands. Outside of the Palestinian Authority compound her visit was met with protest against Operation Pillar of Cloud and on-going U.S. support to Israel. Despite Clinton’s diplomatic efforts to reach an end to the fighting, journalists on the ground in Gaza reported last night heavy Israeli Navy fire. Gaza-based freelance journalist Lydia de Leeuw told Mondoweiss the blasts “shook the entire building” she was in every five minutes during the heaviest bombing.
 

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.
Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government

{ 40 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. according to my twitter feed gaza is exploding, and has been exploding for days, but massive escalations presently occurring. #GazaUnderAttack

  2. Bing Bong says:

    Looks like many of you are going to have to increase the outpouring of morally outraged sadness if for some crazy reason this bus bomb doesn’t lead to peace.

    • Hostage says:

      Looks like many of you are going to have to increase the outpouring of morally outraged sadness if for some crazy reason this bus bomb doesn’t lead to peace.

      I am outraged whenever civilians on either side of the conflict become the targets of violence. If you think it presents an opportunity to score debating points, then you’re thinking like a sociopath.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      You people brought it on yourselves. You’ve been sowing the wind for three generations. You’re now reaping the whirlwind.

  3. pabelmont says:

    Gaza people are “whipping boy” to achieve Palestinian (and Hamas) abject surrender to Israel without further resistance (or peace making or justice for Palestinians).

    Wiki: “Whipping boys were generally of high status, and were educated with the prince from birth. Because the prince and whipping boy grew up together they usually formed a strong emotional bond, especially since the prince usually did not have playmates as other children would have had. The strong bond that developed between a prince and his whipping boy dramatically increased the effectiveness of using a whipping boy as a form of punishment for a prince. The idea of the whipping boys was that seeing a friend being whipped or beaten for something that he had done wrong would be likely to ensure that the prince would not make the same mistake again.”

    The USA/Obama has much to answer for, what with elections at lest 2 years off.

  4. Les says:

    This may be one of those occasions where the Times includes a map that shows Israel’s borders that go through, not around, Jerusalem.

  5. Bumblebye says:

    Would the idf spokespersons office, and/or personnel, represent a legitimate military target? Of course it’s being represented as indiscriminiate by Israel. No mention of this office by the person just speakin on bbcR5.
    OT, the current situation was one of the first topics on Prime Ministers Question time today. Ed Miliband came out and said the Labour Party was for the UN observer status upgrade, while Cameron waffled about more negotiations, tho not saying which way UK will vote. That probably means an abstention.

  6. amigo says:

    Israel trying to drag the rest of the Palestinians into this scenario.

    Got to stop that UN bid for upgrade by the Palestinians.

    Got to avoid going tom the Hague and we are willing to do “ANYTHING ” to save ourselves.

    If bodys are found amongst the wreckage do check the Palestinian prisoner list???.

    • Israel trying to drag the rest of the Palestinians into this scenario. Got to stop that UN bid for upgrade by the Palestinians.

      does seem a little odd doesn’t it:

      Hillary Clinton was in Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

      does she think abbas can negotiate for hamas? if negotiations broke down in cairo over israeli demands what could abbas offer them hamas can’t?

      hmm. go figure.

  7. asherpat says:

    Allison, I sincerely hope that you enjoy Tel Aviv, and that your opinions about Israel and Israelis are changing to less negative.

  8. And naturally, all the English language news outlets are leading with the story of this bus bomb which killed nobody, while relegating the multiple deaths of Palestinians to sub-headings. The fact that it was obviously aimed at the office of the IDF propagandist in chief is being brushed over, while at the same time The Guardian (which likes to talk of ‘Hamas houses’) implies that bombing football stadiums is fine because ‘rockets were fired from there’. The Guardian also has a headline stating this bomb could be a blow to ceasefire efforts. I suppose that means the Guardian thinks the multiple bombings of homes, banks, offices and now stadia were peace feelers?

    • American says:

      I would not be surprised to learn that Israel set up that bus bombing themselves….typical of what they would do to further their terriers vr innocent Israelis meme.

      • Sumud says:

        Me either. I believe Israel is shitting bricks about the pending UN upgrade and will do ANYTHING to try and derail it.

        They now understand the real stakes of 1967 (all or nothing, or what i like to call The Great Gamble) and: that they have lost.

        Expect desperate measures, and much thrashing about.

        • American says:

          Sumud…

          I agree. The UN bid and the ramifications, the possible ICC complaints by Palestine, have the US and Europe scared shitless…on their own behalf, for the charges it might expose them to. If a country like Palestine had any success at the ICC…others might line up to follow the same course against US war crimes.
          The reason for the European countries not loudly condemning Israel like it did in -08 might be for that reason…..letting the fight proceed as long and destructive as possible to take away from the UN bid.
          If Egypt and Turkey had not been so outspoken in opposing Israel as to scare the US about a possible real…”widening of the conflict”..it might still be going on.
          This Isr-Hamas go round this time has seemed to me to be a sort of “controlled demolition” by the US….letting it go far enough to satisfy their goal—but not so far it falls outside the footprint they planned for it and crashes the whole region.

          I doubt if it will hold….Israel will continue to do what it has always done.

        • seafoid says:

          Americans are never going to appear at the Hague. The Great Powers may throw Israel to the lions at some stage but no UN SC member is ever going to have its soldiers jailed for war crimes.

          What was most interesting about this turkey shoot was how freaked out Israelis were. The shock effect of rockets getting as far at Lattestan in Tel Aviv was something I certainly didn’t expect. All those hardliner voters turn out to be pussycats.

          For years the Settlers have been telling the world that they have to hang on to the West Bank for strategic depth but what difference will a few miles make when the opposition know where Israel’s g spot is ?

        • Hostage says:

          Americans are never going to appear at the Hague. The Great Powers may throw Israel to the lions at some stage but no UN SC member is ever going to have its soldiers jailed for war crimes.

          The Serbs gave up Slobodan Milošević to avoid US sanctions. What makes you think the US wouldn’t give up Bush Jr. to avoid similar measures? I’m amazed that our creditors haven’t already conditioned their bailouts on curtailment of our foreign wars and surrender of former officials, like Bush.

      • jd65 says:

        agreed American. the second i heard about this bus bombing i thought the same. i guess we’ll see.

        and by way of showing this kind of thinking is not what simpletons would label “conspiracy theory,” from David Remnick’s “The Vegetarian” in The New Yorker magazine, 9/3/12:

        “[Reporters] Yigal Sarna and Anat Tal-Shir once investigated a story that, before the Israeli’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon… Meir Dagan (former Mossad director) led a secret unit across the border whose mission was to instigate terrorist events that would justify an incursion. Military censors killed the story…”

        and this – from a 1976 interview where Moshe Dayan talks about a relatedly devious Israeli technique (used just pre ’67 6-day war) in provoking hostilities while making it seem like the Arabs/Palestinians are responsible for the escalation:

        “We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was…”

        we don’t know yet about the bus bombing. but since there has been no claim of responsibility yet, and considering the above historical facts/anecdotes, thinking it may have been administered by the Israelis themselves is in no way an absurd idea.

  9. dimadok says:

    Ah, the wonders of the ‘unbiased” semantics here- “a bus exploded in Tel Aviv near the office of Avital Leibovich, the official Israel military spokesperson”.
    How cute, just if you disregard the fact that was civilian bus, carrying civilian population, on the civilian route, in the middle of the city, near shopping centers, hospitals, schools etc.
    Yuck indeed.

    • Sorry, but why shouldn’t the fact that the bus was close to the IDF’s chief propagandist be mentioned? That in no way implies approval of the bombing.

      Perhaps you’ve missed out on the fact that Israel (and nearly all English language media) justify Israeli bombings by referring to ”Hamas homes”, ”Hamas banks” and ”Hamas offices”. And when you say that this bus carried civilians, do I take that to mean that many thousands of Israeli conscripts and reservists do not use the public bus service? Not, of course, that that would make this bombing OK, but if you were to apply anything like the same standards to Israel which Israel applies to Gaza, then hardly anywhere could truly be regarded as ‘civilian’, given that the military permeates every level of society in Israel.

    • Chu says:

      How thin skinned and churlish of you? The article continues to discuss Liebovich, so I am not sure you implication is correct. And the picture reinforces that it is a civilian bus.

    • eljay says:

      >> Ah, the wonders of the ‘unbiased” semantics here- “a bus exploded in Tel Aviv near the office of Avital Leibovich, the official Israel military spokesperson”. …

      Pretend that the bus was the equivalent of an Israeli bomb dropped on Gaza.

      Now feel free to condemn Israel for putting the office of the IDF spokesperson – a valid military target – in a populated area.

      Express outrage over the fact that Israel uses Israeli citizens as humans shields.

      Be sure to suggest that the bus was most likely full of Israeli militants, extremists and terrorists.

      And don’t forget to add that any innocent civilians in the vicinity who happened to be injured or killed were – most regrettably, of course – just “collateral damage”.

      Feels good, doesn’t it?

    • Ellen says:

      Am glad no one killed in the bus bombing and hopefully no more serious injuries.

      But the nature of the bomb did not fit the pattern of the horrific suicide bombers, with intent for revenge or more terror (to use an overused word.) No one or group has laid claim to this.

      It was left on a bus by two men, as reported by Israeli police. This is not the usual pattern of real terror, and does raise questions of a false flag by a government to terrorize its own population for its own purposes.

      Nothing new by the Israeli or other governments.

  10. Egbert says:

    This is a bus explosion as is this. People died in both.

    This ‘explosion’ in which no one was killed?? Can’t possibly be the evil Arabs as they strap suicide vests to their women and children (as we are repeatedly told). More smoke and mirrors.

  11. Chu says:

    bad news. This is going to give the international media an excuse to back Israel’s onslaught. Expect more bombings of civilians in the Gaza prison camp.
    Palestine was Israel and now they are pushed into the tiny corner of Gaza.
    It’s shooting fish in a barrel and the media defends the culprit here. great stuff…

  12. Taxi says:

    What else do israelis expect?

    Don’t they know there will always be bombs exploding on buses so long as there’s an occupation and stuff like 100 airstrikes on Gaza overnight.

    And another thing: I’m always suspicious of bombs that explode in israel proper that injure but do not kill – know wadamean?

    • Yes. I know what you mean. Especially because parcel bombs are not the modus operandi of any known Palestinian group.

    • Egbert says:

      My suspicion is that Israeli State Security planted a flash-bang timed to go off as the bus passed near the IDF building. That would guarantee noise, smoke, with minimal damage and little chance of killing someone. Note the quick claim of responsibility supposedly made by Hamas and later denied by them. This is all part of a PR propaganda war to keep the Israelis fear levels raised, maintaining support for Netanyahu’s long planned rampage in Gaza.

      • I’m inclined to agree. Although I might say that if this was a ‘false flag’, having the ‘bomb’ explode just outside the MOD wouldn’t be a good move, because it would provide some sort of military, as opposed to purely civilian motive for the bombing, thus lessening the ‘poor little Israel’ impact. But still, as I said above, no Palestinian group (that I know of) uses parcel bombs as a weapon, so this does look suspect, especially given the few casualties, bearing in mind how loosely the word ‘injured’ is used in Israeli PR.

      • Taxi says:

        Actually I just heard that Al Jabril’s men were behind the bombing. They’re a small Palestinian resistance group established I think in the 1970′s, affliated to Syria.

        If this be true, then, well, Bashar wants to join the fracas. And why not? After all, israel’s ‘powers’ are at their most diminished since its inception. America is busy tryna avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ and Europe is all talk and no action – therefore attacks/skirmishes on several israeli fronts will be most opportune.

        • I heard that the Fatah-affiliated Al Aqsa brigades had claimed responsibility for the attack. Who knows? I remain open to the possibility that this was false flag, though given the ‘ceasefire’ (however it may turn out) I do think it may have been a genuine attack, perhaps even from some enraged Israeli-Palestinian acting on his/her own.

        • Sumud says:

          No-one has yet raised that it might be a false flag attack by a private Israeli citizen.

          With widespread reporting of zionuts wanting their government to “flatten” Gaza, you never know if one of them decided they might heat up the situation a little on the home front.

  13. HarryLaw says:

    IDF Military Advocate General Mandelblit said in the Wikileaks cable ” pursuit of Israel through the ICC would be viewed as war by the Government of Israel” Here:- link to wikileaks.org
    The victim is told pursue justice and we will kill you, can’t say they did not mean it, the murdering scum.

  14. HarryLaw says:

    Could it be that this murderous onslaught could galvanize those nations sitting on the fence over the Palestinians bid at the UNGA, into supporting them, certainly any nation with any self respect should not heed the threats from the psychopathic Netanyahu and his enabler Obama, the supreme narcissist.

  15. ritzl says:

    If this was a Palestinian bomb, and it doesn’t sound like it was, so much for the Hafrada-wall-as-security-measure BS. Even at THE MOST heightened security state that Israel can be, a Palestinian bomber gets into Israel, plants AND abandons a parcel bomb that nobody notices, on a bus in the heart of Jerusalem, and detonates it in front of IDF HQ, all so impeccably conceived and executed as to not kill anyone? Hah!

    IOW, according to this questionable, yet Israel-propagated and swallowed whole by media outlets everywhere, scenario, the Palestinians can strike, whenever, wherever, and however they want to, if they were to start a terror campaign.

    So much for Rudoren’s etc. “culture of martyrdom.”

    Remind us again, Israel, what’s the Hafrada Wall for?

    Just another cake-and-eat-it-too moment, washed down by the milk of collective media amnesia (sorry, I’m tired).

    The blowback pond is supercooled and there are a lot more info-pebbles being tossed into it (really tired now…).

    A few myths were exploded along with this bomb.