After massive manhunt, security forces find and kill suspected Tel Aviv terrorist
Here is how things stand five hours after a deadly terror shooting in central Tel Aviv:
— Two young people were killed in the attack, which began a little after 9 p.m., officials say, when the terrorist opened fire with a pistol at the Ilka bar on Dizengoff Street in the crowded heart of the city.
— The two fatalities were civilians reportedly in their 20s. Medical teams are “fighting for the lives” of four other people. Two additional people have moderate to severe injuries and nine are lightly injured.
— The shooter, who eyewitnesses said was wearing black, fled the scene and is still at large. Large numbers of police and soldiers, including from elite IDF units, are scouring Tel Aviv, searching buildings, inside apartments, in alleyways and dumpsters. Authorities believe one gunman, believed to be a Palestinian from the West Bank, carried out the attack.
— Police have moved to expand the search outside of Tel Aviv by directing incoming forces to the surrounding areas and setting up around 100 roadblocks in the region.
— Tel Aviv residents have been instructed to remain indoors and lock their doors. Many people are sheltering in buildings around the scene of the attack.
— Tel Aviv police chief Ami Eshed tells reporters that while signs pointed to the shooting being a terror attack, other avenues are being investigated as well. “From what we know, there are signs this was terror,” Eshed says at a late-night briefing.
— Prime Minister Bennett offers condolences to the families of the murdered and prayers for the wounded. “Wherever the terrorist is — we’ll get to him. And anyone who assisted him, directly or indirectly, will pay the price,” Bennett says.
— Bennet earlier held a security meeting with top officials in Tel Aviv including Defense Minister Gantz and IDF chief Kohavi.
— Celebrations are taking place in Palestinian cities in the West Bank and Gaza. Islamic Jihad and Hamas have praised the attack, but have not claimed responsibility.
— IDF troops shoot at least one person in the West Bank who threw stones at vehicles. Palestinian reports said earlier that troops were carrying out operations near the northern West Bank town of Tulkarm.
— The shooting comes amid a series of deadly attacks in Israel in recent weeks, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and during a government crisis. Idit Silman, a member of Bennett’s Yamina party, quit the coalition yesterday, stripping it of its parliamentary majority and making its collapse likely.