National Security Brief: Bomb Attack On Tel Aviv Bus

— A bomb exploded on a bus in Tel Aviv at around noon, Israeli time, wounding at least 21, three seriously. The Los Angeles Times reports that the attack took place on a busy street in the city center and “[e]arly reports from witnesses said a man was seen running toward the bus, throwing a bag inside and running away.”

— Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Jerusalem yesterday amid fledgling talk of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and then some of the worst fighting of the week-long conflict.

— The State Department on Tuesday criticized Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for calling Israel a “terrorist state” after coming under harsh criticism for failing to do so earlier. “Well, let me just say that some of the extremely harsh rhetoric coming from Turkey we do not consider helpful at all. And, of course, we don’t agree with some of these very difficult statements that have been coming there, and we’ve made those views to the Turks,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at her daily briefing.

— The United States yesterday blocked a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip because it “failed to address the root cause,” missile attacks by Hamas – of the escalation in fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

— Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said yesterday that the United States has decimated al Qaeda’s top leaders but the fight has shifted in new directions to take on the group’s affiliates in places like Yemen and Somalia.

(Photo: AP)