Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The White House condemned Wednesday’s bombing of a public bus in Tel Aviv, Israel that injured 21 people.
In a statement, the White House called the bombing of the Dan bus in front of Israel’s defense ministry building a terrorist attack and outrageous. The statement also said the U.S. will assist Israeli authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is in Jerusalem to help broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, issued the same statements. United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, who is also in Jerusalem to help the two sides reach a truce, described the bombing as “shocking.”
Witnesses gave conflicting statements on how the bus was bombed. Some said they saw a man leave a bomb inside the bus and then ran away. Others said a man threw a briefcase into the bus before the explosion.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Hamas, which rules Gaza, praised the attack on Twitter. Palestinians in Gaza fired guns in celebration to the bombing.
The bombing occurred on the eighth day of attacks by Israel and Hamas on each other. Militants in Gaza reportedly fired 62 rockets into Israel on Wednesday. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) said the Iron Dome defense system intercepted 20 rockets.
Overnight, the IDF launch 100 airstrikes in Gaza targeting rocket launch sites.
Meanwhile, the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv remained closed on Wednesday. The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, however, is open for consular service.