Emergency personnel responding to the scene of a bomb explosion near a bus station in the center of Jerusalem, March 23.
Speaking on behalf of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Skip Schrayer, Chairman, and Steven B. Nasatir, President, have issued the following statement on today’s bus bombing in Jerusalem:
“We were saddened and appalled to learn of the terrorist bombing that took place in the heart of downtown Jerusalem earlier today and that, as of the latest reports, has taken the life of a 59-year-old woman. As of earlier reports, a bomb that had been left near a busy bus stop in one of the most crowded areas of Jerusalem exploded, with nearly 30 people wounded, three or four of them seriously. We mourn the death of the murdered woman. We pray for the swift and complete recovery of the wounded. And we condemn in the strongest terms the action and the hatred that surely triggered this heinous attack on the civilian residents of the Israeli capital.
“While Jerusalem and Israel have known horrifying attacks in the past, that city and most of Israel had been relatively quiet for some time. But it appears that there is now an escalation of violence against Israeli civilians – something that has been called for by the Gaza-based Hamas leadership and that, we fear, is in part stimulated by incitement that is not adequately controlled by the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank.
“Twelve days ago, five members of the Fogel family, including a three-month-old infant and two other children, were slaughtered in their beds in the community of Itamar. And four days ago, Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip were subjected to the heaviest barrage of rocket fire from Gaza in over two years, with more shelling today and a resident of Beersheba wounded.
“This escalation of violence is intolerable. As it puts the lives of all Israelis at risk, it makes progress toward resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict all the more difficult.
“We call on the Palestinian Authority to unequivocally condemn today’s bombing and to do everything in its power to bring the violence to a halt, while taking strong, effective steps to end the incitement. And we call on the world community to condemn these acts in the harshest terms and to make clear that they simply cannot continue.”