#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 17°C Tuesday 22 June 2021
Advertisement

Police continue manhunt for Tel Aviv shooting suspect

After the attack, hundreds of police had been seen scouring the area and entering buildings to search for suspects as police helicopters buzzed overhead.

ISRAELI SECURITY FORCES are searching for the gunman who killed two people and wounded seven others at a Tel Aviv pub, as the motive for the attack remained unclear.

Also today a Palestinian man rammed an Israeli police vehicle with his car and shot dead by security forces.

The New Year’s Day shooting on busy Dizengoff Street came amid a wave of Palestinian attacks on Israelis and days after the leader of the so-called Islamic State group threatened the Jewish state with violence.

“Police are continuing to search for a suspect who murdered two Israelis in central Tel Aviv,” spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, adding that road blocks had been set up in different parts of the city.

After the attack, hundreds of police had been seen scouring the area and entering buildings to search for suspects as police helicopters buzzed overhead.

Mideast Israel Shooting Source: Associated Press

Media reports identified the shooter as an Arab in his late 20s from northern Israel who had recently been jailed for attacking a soldier, but police refused to confirm this.

The local council of Arara condemned the shooting in a statement, saying the northern Arab Israeli town’s residents “fiercely object any act of violence”.

According to the council, “this is the act of one individual who does not represent any of the town’s residents,” stressing the attack was “foreign to our culture”.

Rosenfeld said there was a “strong possibility that this was a terrorist attack but we haven’t ruled out criminal motives”. He did not elaborate.

Security camera footage from a nearby store showed a bespectacled young man with a backpack calmly pretending to shop before going to the exit, placing the backpack on a trolley, removing what looks like a submachine gun and opening fire in the street.

Mideast Israel Shooting An Israeli eye witness sits with her dog at the scene of the shooting attack. Source: AP Photo/Oded Balilty

Medics said they took nine people to hospitals in Tel Aviv, with police saying two of them had died.

One of those killed was identified by his father as Alon Bakal, a law and business student who was a manager at Simta, the pub that was targeted, with police naming the second as Shimon Ruimi from southern Israel.

Police issued a gag order on the investigation as well as the one into the death of an Arab Israeli taxi driver found shot in north Tel Aviv a short while after the shooting rampage.

They have also refused to say whether the two attacks were linked.

In a recording released a week ago and attributed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the secretive leader of the IS jihadist group pledged to attack Israel.

Baghdadi said IS has “not forgotten Palestine for a single moment”.

And soon, soon with God’s permission, you will hear the footsteps of the mujahedeen… We are getting closer to you day by day.

“I heard gunshots and turned around; I saw people rushing to the back of the cafe. I heard screaming and saw a man shooting. He was brown haired, wearing a grey sweater and fled the scene,” he told AFP.

“I immediately thought of the attacks in Paris,” he said, referring to jihadist attacks in November that killed 130 people at bars, a concert hall and the Stade de France stadium.

Twenty Israelis, an American and an Eritrean have been killed in a wave of Palestinian attacks since 1 October including stabbings, car-rammings and gunfire targeting security forces and civilians.

According to an AFP count, 138 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the latest violence, most while carrying out attacks on Israelis.

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Two dead and five injured after gunman opens fire in Israel >

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (40)