At least two people were killed and many injured in a new armed attack on Thursday evening, April 7, in the center of the Israeli metropolis Tel Aviv. Magen David Adom, Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross, said 16 injured have been taken to local hospitals.
“We have received ten injuries so far, but despite the best efforts of the medical staff, two have succumbed to their injuries”, for its part, the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, said in a brief press release. The motive for the attack has not yet been clearly established.
On Thursday evening, witnesses at the scene told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that they heard gunshots and saw scenes of chaos in central Tel Aviv, where Israeli police said they had been deployed. “There is an atmosphere of war, soldiers and police everywhere; they ransacked a restaurant, people are crying and running in all directions”a witness who works near the site of the attack told AFP.
Fourth attack in three weeks in the country
In a press release, security forces asked the population not to go outside to avoid being targeted by fire. “Police are calling on people to stay at home and let the police handle the ongoing incident to locate suspects.”she said in a statement.
Late Thursday evening, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas “popular” a “heroic operation” and Islamic Jihad has “greeted” an attack he considers a “natural reaction” to the “crimes” of Israel, including the recent invasion of Jenin.
For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is at army headquarters in Tel Aviv, receiving the latest information on the shooting, his services said. This is the fourth attack in three weeks in the country and the second in nine days in Tel Aviv.
Last week, a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank opened fire on crowds while driving in the Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, killing five people, including two Ukrainians and an Israeli Arab police officer† A few days earlier, two police officers, including a young French-Israeli, had been killed in a… shooting claimed by the Islamic State organization (EI) in Hadera (north of the country).
Multiplication of Operations in the Occupied West Bank
On March 22, in Beersheva, a major city in the Negev desert (south), four Israelis were killed in an attack with a knife and car rams committed by a teacher, sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for planning a trip to Syria to fight for IS.
In the wake of these attacks, the Israeli military, police and internal security forces arrested dozens of people suspected of having links with IS in Israel and stepped up operations in the occupied West Bank, notably in Jenin, sector in the north of this Palestinian territory. where the attacker of the Bnei Brak attack came from.
At least three members of Islamic Jihad, the second Palestinian armed movement after Hamas, were killed in a firefight related to these operations in Jenin.
The attack in central Tel Aviv comes as Israeli police prepare to go on high alert for the first major Friday prayers since the start of Ramadan at the Al-Masjid Esplanade in Jerusalem. Last year clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police on the sidelines of large demonstrations in East Jerusalem, an area occupied by Israel since 1967, sparked an 11-day war between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and Israel.