JERUSALEM – A suicide bomber blew himself up on a Jerusalem bus early Sunday, killing seven people and wounding at least 12 others, and another bomber blew himself up on the outskirts of the city, according to police.
The attack was on a number 6 city bus at an intersection at the northern edge of the city, according to a police statement.
Police said the second bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the village of Dahiya el-Barid, near Jerusalem. Police said the bomber was killed in the blast on the highway, and no one else was hurt.
The Sunday bombings were part of a sudden surge in Palestinian attacks — four in 12 hours — including a bombing in the West Bank city of Hebron in which an Israeli man and his wife were killed. Also, two armed Palestinians tried to attack a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and were killed by soldiers. The attacks appeared to be timed to coincide with a summit meeting between the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians.
The bomber struck at a few minutes before 6 a.m. Sunday morning, at the beginning of a rush hour on a work day in Israel.
Witnesses said the bomb went off on a large bus divided into two sections as it neared a bridge in one of Jerusalem’s largest intersections, outside the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat and the Jewish neighborhood of French Hill, in the part of Jerusalem Israel captured in the 1967 war and claimed by the Palestinians.
Jerusalem police commander Mickey Levy told Israel Radio that the bus had left the suburb of Pisgat Zeev.
“The explosive was large,” Levy said. “And the bus was shattered.”
Witnesses and rescue workers said the bomber blew himself up in the front of the bus.
The attack came a few hours after the end of the first Israeli-Palestinian summit meeting in almost three years. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met at Sharon’s Jerusalem office. In a statement after the meeting, Sharon said it was agreed that the first priority in peacemaking must be stopping Palestinian attacks.
Just before the summit meeting, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of Israelis in the West Bank city of Hebron, killing an Israeli man and his pregnant wife.