Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said the blast occurred in the back section of the bus and was caused by a bomb. He also said there were some people killed.

The blast occurred a day after Israel lifted a 10-day closure of the Gaza Strip which had been sealed because of Israeli fears that a suicide attack would be launched in Israel.

Islamic militants have claimed responsibility for a series of previous explosions that have killed scores of Israelis and injured hundreds since the Israel-PLO peace agreement was signed in September 1993.