Nine people have been lightly injured after a car bomb exploded Sunday morning in downtown Jerusalem just before 9 a.m. Three of those hurt were injured from flying glass, the rest were taken to hospital to be treated for shock.
The bomb exploded in the center of the city, at the corner of Jaffa Street and Heshin Street, close to the city's main branch of the police force. On midnight Saturday, close to the same site, another booby-trapped car blew up at midnight Saturday. There were no injuries in that bombing.
Sunday's bomb contained several mortar shells, some of which were propelled hundreds of meters from the site of the explosion, although the shells themselves did not explode.
Police said it could take hours to neutralize the mortar shells. All streets leading to the bombing have been closed off.
Hezbollah's TV station, Al-Manar, announced that the Islamic Jihad had claimed responsibility for the car bomb attack.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is scheduled to hold a meeting Sunday afternoon of the mini-security cabinet including Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and Defense Minister Benjamim Ben-Eliezer.
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert intimated that it was time for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to end the unilateral ceasefire he declared last Tuesday. "It will be very difficult to continue to be restrained," he said. "We cannot allow our capital to be put under siege. We cannot go on like this. The problem is not just the number of people injured. It is unacceptable that 700,000 people in Jerusalem are living under siege."