The Israeli Defense Forces Home Front Command is urging residents of Beitar Illit to remain inside and lock their doors as police hunt for a terrorist who planted a suspected device that failed to detonate on a bus on Thursday night.
After smoke billowed from a black bag on a bus nearby, officials neutralized the device, per reports. The man who placed the bag on the bus had already exited the vehicle, according to media reports.
Israeli security officials issued a Red Alert warning of an infiltration at 10:20 p.m. local time as they began a massive search for the terrorist. Beitar Illit is a haredi enclave of more than 9,000 families about 12 miles southwest of Jerusalem in the Gush Etzion bloc.
The ongoing security situation and intermittent warning sirens resulted in “numerous” emergency calls to the United Hatzalah dispatch center from those “suffering emotional shock and psychological stress reactions,” the organization stated.
The attempted attack came shortly after a terrorist shooting on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, where three people were wounded by a Palestinian gunman who was shot and killed at the scene in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces.