This story was updated Nov. 28 with a further fatality report.
Two Israelis were killed and more than 20 injured on Wednesday in two explosions at bus stops located near entrances to Jerusalem.
Authorities believe that the source of the blasts were two remotely detonated bombs packed with nails to cause maximum damage.
Police described the explosives as “high quality,” and suggested an organized terror cell planned and carried out the attack.
The first explosion occurred near the main entrance to the Israeli capital shortly after 7 a.m., and the second followed about 30 minutes later, at the Ramot junction.
Eighteen people were injured in the first blast, five seriously, with one later succumbing to his wounds, according to medics. Several people were lightly injured in the second explosion or were suffering from anxiety.
The victims were evacuated to Jerusalem’s Shaare Tzedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem medical centers.
The deceased was identified as 16-year-old Israeli Aryeh Shechopek, a resident of Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood who was studying in a religious school.
Canadian Ambassador to Israel Lisa Stadelbauer confirmed that Shechopek also held Canadian citizenship. Hundreds of people attended Shechopek’s funeral on Wednesday afternoon in Har Nof.
Tedsa Teshuma, a 50-year-old Ethiopian immigrant and father of six, died Saturday, Nov. 26, of injuries from the attack. He was buried Sunday.
Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai visited one of the scenes and held a situation assessment together with Jerusalem Police District head Doron Turgeman.
“This is a type of attack that we haven’t seen for many years,” said Shabtai.
He called on the public to be alert for suspicious packages, adding that every bus in Jerusalem would be searched.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a situation analysis following the attack, together with the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Defense Forces deputy chief of staff.
Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Praying for the peace of the injured in the combined attack in Jerusalem this morning and strengthening the hands of the security forces operating in the field.”
He added in a follow-up message: “I am sending condolences on behalf of all citizens of Israel to the family of Aryeh Shechopek…who was killed today in the terrible terrorist attack. May his memory be for a blessing.”
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides wrote on Twitter that he was “appalled” by the “cowardly” attack, and that his “heart breaks for the families of those who were harmed.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid convened a security meeting on Wednesday afternoon attended by, among others, Gantz, Shabtai, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev.
“I would first like to send my condolences and the condolences of the government of Israel to the family of Aryeh Shechopek, of blessed memory. He was a boy who never wronged anyone in the world, and he was murdered simply because he was Jewish. I also wish a speedy and full recovery to the wounded,” said Lapid following the meeting.
“This event is different from what we have seen in recent years. An extensive intelligence effort is now underway that will lead us to find these heinous terrorists, those behind them, and those who provided them with weapons,” he continued. “I want to say to the citizens of Israel: We will find them. They can run, they can hide—it won’t help them; the security forces will reach them. If they resist, they will be eliminated. If not, we will punish them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Lapid added that he ordered the reinforcement of forces in the Jerusalem area.
Hamas praised the attack, saying in a statement that the “Zionist enemy” was “paying the price today for its crimes and aggression against our [Palestinian] people.”
The attack on Wednesday is the second deadly terrorist incident in as many weeks. Last Tuesday, three Israelis were killed and three others wounded when a Palestinian went on a stabbing and car-ramming rampage in and around the city of Ariel in the West Bank.