A gunman opened fire on a crowded street in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday night, wounding three people. The gunman was killed by police, Israeli authorities said.
“A short time ago, a report was received of a terror attack in Tel Aviv,” Israel Police said on Twitter. “A suspect shot 3 civilians who were wounded in different degrees. The terrorist was neutralised by police officers.”
One of the victims was in critical condition, another was in severe condition and the third was in fair condition, police said.
The gunman was identified as a 23-year-old Palestinian associated with Hamas.
“Two policemen and two civilians who were in the area engaged with the terrorist and killed him,” Israel Police tweeted a few hours after the shooting.
“There has been another terror attack in the heart of Tel Aviv tonight,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in Rome at the time, in a statement. “We send our hopes and wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded, and we strengthen the security forces and police who are fighting terrorists this night and every night.”
Video taken by CBS News cameraman David Cohen of the aftermath of the shooting, which occurred on Dizengoff Street, showed large crowds of people, including police, medical personnel and civilians, gathered around what appeared to be two wounded victims lying in the street. The immediate area was quickly cordoned off by police as crowds of people who were out celebrating the start of the weekend, many of them attending parties for the festival of Purim, either fled or stayed behind trying to help.
Cohen said he was returning home from walking his dog when he heard about four shots and quickly ran upstairs and began filming the scene. At one point, bystanders could be seen directing an arriving police vehicle to where the gunman had fled. A short while later, several loud pops could be heard.
An image on social media showed what was believed to be the attacker standing in the middle of the road as he pointed a pistol. The MADA rescue service said one of the wounded was in critical condition, while authorities said security forces in the area quickly killed the shooter.
Amateur video appeared to show the attacker trapped in an alley as several armed Israelis stood around the corner. A man could be heard shouting “close the window” to a resident. As the suspect ran out of the alley, he was shot multiple times.
After the shooting, the Israel Defense Force said that it and “Israeli security forces” were at the gunmen’s home in Ni’lin, which is located in the West Bank.
The shooting came hours after an Israeli military raid killed three Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli security forces said they raided the village of Jaba to arrest suspects wanted for attacks on Israeli soldiers in the area. The suspects opened fire on Israeli troops, who shot back and killed three people, all affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, police said.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the men as Sufyan Fakhoury, 26, Nayef Malaisha, 25 and Ahmed Fashafsha, 22, and said they were shot by Israeli fire during the military operation. A fourth man was hospitalized with a bullet wound to the head, authorities added.
Israeli police released a photo of assault rifles, pistols, ammunition and explosive devices they said troops confiscated in Jaba, just south of the flashpoint city of Jenin. Gunmen shot down an Israeli drone during the clashes, the military said.
The Jaba militant group, a fledgling militia of disillusioned young Palestinians who have taken up guns against Israel’s occupation, said members opened fire and hurled explosive devices at Israeli forces from a sedan — that now sits, smashed and bloodied, in the center of town. Residents said Israeli troops killed members of the group who had been recently incarcerated by Israel and had carried out a recent shooting attack at a nearby checkpoint.