March 23, 2011 / 17 Adar II, 5771
At 3:00 PM local time today, an explosive device detonated at a bus stop near Binyanei Hauma at the entrance to Jerusalem. So far, one woman was killed and over 40 others were wounded in the attack, some seriously.
The attack comes on the heels of the dramatic escalation in rocket fire from Gaza this week and last Friday night's horrific massacre of a young family asleep in bed in the village of Itamar.
The bomb was hidden in luggage sitting alongside the bus stop in one of the busiest areas of the city. An individual was seen placing the luggage at the bus stop and fleeing the scene shortly before it exploded.
Immediately after the explosion, security forces launched a manhunt for the perpetrator, shutting down some of Israel's major highways. Meanwhile, dozens of emergency personnel mobilized to evacuate the wounded and help those in shock.
I am writing this letter from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I am visiting this city's remarkable Jewish community. Watching the events unfold from far away, I am reminded of the powerful feelings of solidarity shared by Jews everywhere for their people and their homeland. At this time, my heart, together with all the Jews of the world, are with the victims of this brutal attack and with the citizens of Jerusalem.
As always, Israelis are responding to the attack resolutely. Jerusalem's social workers, currently on strike, have announced they will return to work in order to help the wounded and frightened people of Jerusalem at this difficult time. The Jewish Agency's Fund for the Victims of Terror has been placed on alert to help the wounded and their families.
We continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Natan Sharansky, Chairman
Jewish Agency for Israel