The radical Palestinian organization Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack on a bus stop in Jerusalem, which resulted in the death of at least three people. In a statement on Thursday, it said the attack was “a natural response to the unprecedented crimes committed by the occupiers of the Gaza Strip (Israel, note) and against children in Jenin.” A short time ago, the ceasefire in the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas was extended.
On Thursday, two assassins opened fire at a bus stop in Jerusalem. Israeli rescue service Magen David Adom said three people were killed. Jerusalem police chief Doron Turgeman told reporters that two men who arrived at the scene in a vehicle were shot by soldiers and an armed civilian. According to the information obtained, the incident occurred in the traffic at the entrance of the city in the early hours of the morning. It was not clear at the beginning what the consequences of an attack on the entrance to Jerusalem would be, for example, in terms of a ceasefire.
During his visit to the scene, Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir saw the attack in Jerusalem as proof that his country should not show weakness. You can only talk to radical Islamist Hamas “through rifle scopes, only through war.” The minister, who is considered a far-right extremist, announced that the government wants to further relax the regulations regarding the issuance of firearms licenses to private individuals.
Israeli Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz said the attack proved once again that Israel must resolutely continue its fight “against lethal terrorism that threatens our citizens.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was in Tel Aviv on Thursday, said the attack demonstrated “the terrorist threat that Israel and Israelis face every day.” He expressed his condolences to the victims. At the same time, in his meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Blinken emphasized how important the ceasefire is for the United States. “This process is producing results, it is important, and we hope it continues.”
Two soldiers were slightly injured in a vehicle attack on a checkpoint in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The Israeli army said on Thursday that the attacker was “neutralized” by gunfire and that soldiers were searching the area for other suspects.
By extending the ceasefire, more hostages kidnapped in the Gaza Strip could be released and more humanitarian aid could reach the closed coastal area in the Mediterranean. More than 1,000 trucks carrying aid supplies have arrived in the Gaza Strip since the ceasefire began, according to aid workers. The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Thursday that 1,132 trucks carrying aid entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing as of Wednesday. It was not stated which goods were included.
“The operational pause will continue, given the mediators’ efforts to continue the hostage rescue process and subject to the terms of the agreement,” the Israeli military said in a statement on Telegram. Hamas said early Thursday they had agreed on a seventh day. Accordingly, the ceasefire will initially be extended only until Thursday. This was also confirmed by Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Majed Al-Ansari.
The ceasefire has been in effect since 06:00 (CET) last Friday. Since then, approximately 100 hostages kidnapped in the Gaza Strip have been exchanged for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. The decision to suspend the conflict agreed between Israel and Hamas was recently extended for two days. According to the original agreement, the break could be extended up to ten days.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement early Thursday that a list of women and children had been handed over in accordance with the agreement to ensure the continuation of the ceasefire. Negotiators negotiated until the last minute. The Israeli prime minister’s office said the war cabinet had unanimously decided the previous evening that hostilities would resume immediately unless a list was presented by 7 a.m. Thursday as agreed.
Hamas released 16 more hostages on Wednesday. The Israeli army announced on Wednesday that ten Israelis were present, as in previous days. In response, Israel released another group of 30 Palestinians from Israeli prisons, Israeli prison officials announced Thursday night.
The Gaza War was triggered by the bloodiest massacre in Israeli history, carried out by terrorists from the Gaza Strip near the Israeli border on October 7. More than 1,200 people were killed. Around 240 hostages were taken to Gaza. Israel responded with massive airstrikes and a blockade of the Gaza Strip. In late October his forces began a ground offensive. According to Hamas, approximately 15,000 people were killed and more than 36,000 were injured. The figures cannot be independently verified at this time.