JERUSALEM—Two powerful terrorist bombs were set off early Wednesday morning in Israel’s capital, one at the main opening of the city, and one in the city’s north, killing a 16-year-old yeshivah student and a father of six in his 50s, and injuring 26, leaving some in critical and serious condition.

Aryeh Schupak, 16, a resident of Har Nof and a dual citizen of Canada and Israel, was waiting for a bus on the main highway at the entrance of the city to take him to Moshav Beit Meir, where he studies at the Harei Yehudah yeshivah.

Tadasa Tashume Ben Ma’ada, a father of five in his 50s who made aliyah from Ethiopia 21 years ago was critically wounded in the attack and succumbed to his wounds on Saturday. He was a senior jeweler and trained other immigrants from Ethiopia to be jewelers as part of government-sponsored programs.

Among the injured is 18-year-old Naomi Pilichowski, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel who was waiting for a bus to Bet Shemesh, where she is doing national service. Her mother, Aliza, is mayor of the town of Mitzpeh Yericho in Judea, and her father is a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and works for Nefesh B’Nefesh. Lightly injured, she is being treated at the Hadassah-University Medical Center in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Kerem, along with other casualties.

The explosions occurred 30 minutes apart. Police believe that the devices were placed near the bus stops a brief time before they exploded. Nails were discovered in the bombs, which were detonated remotely, according to police. Deputy Commissioner Sigal Bar Zvi, the head of the police operations division, said the bombs were “high-quality” devices that point to an organized cell of terrorists.

No suspects have been identified, and no one has claimed responsibility as of mid-day. The father of one of the victims who was seriously wounded says his son told him that he saw a man taking pictures of people waiting at the stop soon before the explosion.

“My son was injured by a lot of shrapnel,” Avi Biton told the Ynet news site. “He has one piece of shrapnel that is right in the skull, which cannot be removed, near a blood vessel. He has fractures in his vertebrae and pelvis, and bleeding in his stomach.”

Two Blasts Within 30 Minutes

Aryeh Schupak
Aryeh Schupak

Magen David Adom emergency services said they received a report of the first blast at 7:06 a.m near the Givat Shaul neighborhood at the entrance to the city.

“It was a crazy explosion. There is damage everywhere here,” Yosef Haim Gabay, a medic who was near the scene when the blast occurred, told Israeli Army Radio. “I saw people with wounds bleeding all over the place.” He and others immediately began first giving aid to those who were hurt as police and emergency services rushed to the scene.

Soon after the first blast was reported, a second was detonated at 7:30 a.m. at the Ramot Junction in the northern part of the capital. Three were slightly wounded from shrapnel. The medical teams of United Hatzalah provided first aid at the scene.

Visiting the scene, Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said there may have been two attackers. “This is a framework of attack that we haven’t seen for many years,” he said.

He called on the public to be alert for suspicious packages and said a wide-ranging investigation was underway by various agencies.

Crime-scene investigators at the scene of a second attack in one of Jerusalem's northern neighborhoods. (Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Crime-scene investigators at the scene of a second attack in one of Jerusalem's northern neighborhoods. (Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)