The blast, which left the bus charred and its windows blown out, was the first bombing in Tel Aviv since 2006. It appeared aimed at sparking Israeli fears of a return to the violence of the Palestinian uprising last decade, which killed more than 1,000 Israelis in bombings and shooting attacks and left more than 5,000 Palestinians dead as well.
Hamas has carried dozens of suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis. While Hamas did not take responsibility for the attack, it praised the bombing.
“We told you #IDF that our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are,” the al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said on Twitter. “You opened the gates of hell on yourselves.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Today, the situation in Gaza is deeply alarming... Rockets aimed at military targets inside Gaza are killing and injuring civilians and damaging... civilian infrastructures.”