Update: Israel launches massive airstrikes on Gaza after Tel Aviv bombing (RT). As expected
So much for hopes of a ceasefire as day 8 of of Operation Pillar of Defense begins. Around midday local time, an explosion took place in a bus in Tel Aviv near the military headquarters. As Jerusalem Post reports, "a total of 16 people were injured in a terror attack in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, according to a spokesperson from the city's Ichilov Hospital. One person was severely injured, one moderately and one light to moderately. The remainder of the casualties were light or suffering shock. None were in a life threatening condition, though two were already in surgery, the hospital spokesperson said." According to witnesses a man climbed in the bus and threw a bomb on board. The explosion has sent Brent to its session highs over $111, and with Hilary Clinton briefly on location, it appears that Israel may well escalate to the next phase of the conflict which would be a land invasion.
Perhaps making certain of this was a tweet by the Alqassam Brigades, which has made a serious escalation virtually inevitable:
We told you #IDF that our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are, "You opened the Gates of Hell on Yourselves"— Alqassam Brigades (@AlqassamBrigade) November 21, 2012
Finally, proving that the world has gone totally insane, the rise in crude is interpreted by correlation algos as a risk on signal sending ES and EURUSD both to their session highs and wiping out all losses from last night's historic collapse in talks over Greece.
And some more from the FT:
A bomb explosion on a bus in central Tel Aviv threatened to derail stuttering moves towards an end to violence in Gaza on Wednesday, sending oil prices sharply higher.
Crude prices rose $1 a barrel to $111 after Israeli media reported 10 people were injured in the bus bombing, which happened near the ministry of defence in Tel Aviv at about midday local time.
It was the first such attack in Israel since the conflict began, and the first in the city since 2006.
Media in Gaza reported celebratory gunfire in the enclave after people heard news of the explosion.
The conflict between Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement that controls the Gaza Strip entered its eighth day with intense diplomatic activity continuing in efforts to broker a ceasefire.
Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, arrived in the region and called on Israel and Hamas to “de-escalate” the hostilities.
She assured Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, of Washington’s “rock-solid” support for Israel’s right to defend itself but called for a “durable outcome” to the crisis, which has claimed the lives of at least 134 Palestinians and five Israelis.
“It is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza,” she said. “The rocket attacks from terrorist organisations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored.”
The Israeli leader said he, too, preferred a diplomatic solution to the conflict but also warned that Israel was ready to take “whatever action is necessary” to halt rocket fire from Gaza on Israel.
Israel is opposed to a ceasefire that would merely give Hamas time to rearm.