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.”
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.
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.