First Jerusalem terror blast in six years; Bibi sees “exchange of blows”

An Israeli woman critically wounded when a bomb ripped through a bus near Jerusalem’s central bus station on March 23 died of her injuries after being hospitalized. The attack was the first major bombing in Jerusalem since 2004. More recent deadly attacks involved gunmen, as in the case of the Mercaz Harav attack in March 2008 that left eight yeshiva students dead, or Palestinians commandeering bulldozers or cars and using them as weapons. (Maan News Agency, JTA, March 23)

The explosion came hours after two Grad rockets hit the Israeli city of Beersheba, injuring one. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned: “It may be that it will take an exchange of blows, and it may be that it will take some time, but we are very determined to strike at the terrorist elements’ ability to harm our citizens.” The al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, claimed responsibility for both Beersheba attacks as well as for another Grad fired on the port city of Ashdod overnight, and vowed to continue targeting cities deep inside Israel. (Middle East Online, March 23)

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