Three people were killed and at least eight others were wounded in a shooting attack in Tel Aviv at around 9:30 pm Wednesday night. One victim is listed in critical condition and four others are listed in serious condition.
Two gunmen opened fire in the Sarona Market, reportedly from two separate locations. The market is a popular shopping and commercial area. Police confirmed that two terrorists were arrested and one terrorist was shot and is in being treated in Ichilov Hospital. Videos show an armed civilian returning fire at a terrorist. He is listed in moderate condition. According to unconfirmed police sources, two of the assailants were disguised as religious Jews and sat down to eat at a restaurant before beginning the attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed in Israel shortly after the attack, returning from Russia. He immediately convened a security cabinet meeting.
Four people were killed in a shooting terror attack in Tel Aviv’s popular Sarona Market Wednesday evening.
Three others were seriously hurt.
Police said two Palestinian gunmen were involved in the terror attack. They sat in the Max Brenner inside the Sarona complex and then began a shooting spree. They were seen using Carl Gustav-style guns, and according to Israel Radio they also had knives.
Officials said one gunman was arrested in the Sarona complex, but the other fled the scene, and carried on shooting before he too was stopped. Both were in custody Wednesday night. One of them, who was shot by security forces, was taken to Ichilov hospital in police custody. Police later confirmed they are Palestinian relatives, 21-year-old cousins, from the Hebron area in the West Bank.
Some unconfirmed reports spoke of a third gunman who escaped, but police and soldiers deployed in the surrounding streets called off the search after an hour.
Chico Edri, head of Israel Police’s Tel Aviv district, told reporters the incident was over and no other suspects were thought to be at large. He said one gunman had been arrested, the other shot and then taken into custody. Edri said the police had seized the weapons used in the attack.
Police said there had been no warning of an imminent attack.
Less than an hour after the gunfire was first reported, Ichilov Hospital confirmed that three victims had succumbed to their injuries. They were not immediately identified. A fourth victim, a woman, died soon after midnight.
Three others were in serious condition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed a “decisive” response to Wednesday’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv, and said Israel’s security services would track down any who may have aided the shooters.
Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan visited the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv, site of Wednesday night’s shooting attack, following an emergency briefing at IDF headquarters, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Netanyahu landed in Israel from an official visit to Moscow shortly after the attack.
“This was a difficult event, a cold-blooded murder by criminal terrorists,” the prime minister said in a statement. “I want first of all to send condolences to the families whose worlds were decimated at this moment, and of course wishes for the swift healing of the wounded.”
“We discussed a series of offensive and defensive steps that we will take in order to act against this serious phenomenon of shootings. This is a challenge, and we shall meet it,” he said without elaborating.
“We’re in the middle of a complex period. We will act decisively and intelligently,” he said, vowing “determined action by the police, IDF and security agencies to locate all collaborators who took part in this murder, and to prevent future attacks.”
“We will take the necessary steps to attack the attackers and defend those who need to be defended,” he told reporters in English.
As he spoke, IDF troops surrounded the West Bank village of Yatta, south of Hebron, the home of the two suspected shooters.
Liberman said in a statement that Israel “doesn’t intend to put up with the situation. I don’t think this is the time to issue pronouncements, but everything necessary we will do and we will do in a severe manner.”
“We won’t accept this situation, they cannot escape responsibility,” he said.
The Times of Israel is liveblogging Wednesday’s events as they happen.
Hamas taunts Liberman, Liberman promises harsh response
Hamas calls out recently appointed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman while praising the Tel Aviv shooting.
The terror group’s spokesman Hussam Bardan says in a press statement that the attack was a challenge to the “leaders of the occupation, and especially Liberman, who boasted and threatened our people without being able to break their resolve.”
Liberman famously called for an “iron hand” against terrorist, and has criticized the Netanyahu government over the past year for failing to end terror attacks.
Tonight, however, he isn’t taking the bait.
“We don’t intend to accept this situation,” he says in a laconic statement. “I don’t think this is the moment to offer pronouncements, and we will do everything necessary, and will do it with severity.”
The terrorists, he vows, “won’t be able to flee responsibility.”
In response to recent peace overtures by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which would involve ceding land to the Palestinians, Uri Ariel, Israel’s agriculture minister, suggested instead that Israel should remove “a few thousand Arabs” from Area C and then annex it, The Times of Israel reported.
Israel maintains control over security and general land management in Area C, a portion of land that constitutes about 60 percent of Judea and Samaria. It is estimated that 325,000 Israelis live in Area C, while the exact number of Palestinians is hotly contested. B’Tselem, a leftist Israeli NGO, has reported it hovers around 300,000, while more conservative estimates place the population at around 75,000.
Regardless of the tremendous efforts such an operation would entail, Ariel insisted “we have to aspire to the annexation of Area C.”
Ariel’s comments come amid Netanyahu’s recent initiatives towards a solution consisting of ‘two states for two peoples’. Netanyahu’s gestures have thus far been proven unsuccessful, as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has all but refused to appear at the negotiating table so long as Israel continues construction.
Regardless of the initiative’s failures, Ariel has voiced his disapproval of the two-state solution, saying that rather than giving a state to the Palestinians, Israel should annex Area C and allocate a proper sum of money, some $2.6 billion, to drastically improve the lives of those who live there.
Further, the minister threatened to resign should the government follow through with ceding land to its Palestinian neighbors.
“There is no way that we remain in a government that takes territory from the Land of Israel and hands it to others — the word ‘return’ isn’t appropriate — it’s ours, not theirs,” he said. “We have been there [in the West Bank] for 49 years, 50 years — compared to 19 years in which the Jordanians [controlled it.] There can be no comparison. It’s absurd.”
Ally - no, but I'll look it up :)
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