Nine Israelis were killed and twenty-five others were injured Wednesday morning when a Palestinian bus driver rammed his vehicle into a group of Israeli soldiers and civilians at a crossroads south of Tel Aviv, said reports.
Reports differed as to the number of casualties. Haaretz newspaper and the BBC TV reported that at least 18 were injured, while AFP said that the number injured was only ten. Also, reports varied on the condition of the driver, who according to the Haaretz, tried to flee the scene in the bus, but was shot dead by pursuing police. But the Post and Radio Israel said that the driver, from the Gaza Strip, was still alive and trapped in his vehicle.
Radio Israel reported that the driver, 35 years old, is still alive and being interrogated by the police.
The report added that he has been working for Eged bus company for 5 years after he gained security
approval. He took Palestinian workers from Gaza to work inside Israel to Ramla (a city in Israel) and was planned to pick them later in the afternoon to Gaza.
Bomb experts who were checking the bus said they found an explosive device in the bus, according to the Post.
The radio said that most of the injured were soldiers, and that the three female soldiers were seriously injured.
Meanwhile, Al-Jazira satellite channel reported that a Palestinian officer, Ayed Abu Harb, was assassinated in an ambush staged by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Ramin near Tulkarem.
In the first reaction by Palestinians to Tel Aviv attack, lawmaker Hatem Abdul Qader told Al Jazira that the development is a message to the Israeli leadership that the Palestinians are able to retaliate the assassinations carried out by their forces.
“The Israeli people is a victim of the Israeli terror in the first place,” said Abdul Qader, who is also a Fateh leader in the West Bank – Albawaba.com