Israel: Two dead and a dozen injured in Tel Aviv shooting | This is the fourth attack in two weeks and occurs during the holy month of Ramadan.

A violent shooting on Thursday resulted in at least two deaths and several injuries in Tel Avivwhere scenes of chaos took place, in a new episode of this kind in recent weeks in Israel and the West Bank. Witnesses reported that several gunshots were heard during the recorded attack on a central street in Tel Aviv, where numerous bars and restaurants are located. The attacker is still on the run and the security forces are asking citizens to remain locked in their homes while they continue with research and acquisition activities. Palestinian armed group Hamas enthusiastically celebrated the attack without claiming it.

“So far we have received ten injured, but despite the doctors’ efforts, two have died”, Ichilov hospital said in a statement, adding that four injured are in critical condition. “There are people with serious injuries, mainly to the chest, abdomen and some to the face,” said the director of this center, Ronni Gamzu.

All of this came after an attacker carried out a serious shooting at various points in central Tel Aviv, including a bar, causing chaos and panic in the coastal city. The images released by the media and social networks showed people running through the streets and the police trying to catch the attacker.

There is an atmosphere of war, with soldiers and police everywhere. They ransacked the restaurant, there are people crying and people running all over the place, “said Binyamin Blum, an employee of a club near the place where the attack took place. Another man who was injured told the newspaper. Haaretz: “I was sitting in the Bar Tzina and shooting started. I saw the window break and I started running. Suddenly everyone started running and I felt like they hit me in the back. I didn’t know what was going on, I just ran and then I saw a lot of blood“.

After the incident, sirens from ambulances and emergency services marked the atmosphere in central Tel Aviv, as passersby sought shelter and the wounded were evacuated to hospital. More than a thousand police officers, special units and army soldiers were deployed on the ground to capture the attackerand the police urged the population to remain calm and “avoid the dissemination of unfounded messages and information that could generate further panic”.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennettwhose government falters, turned to the Ministry of Defense to follow up the case. Bennett agreed to “continue to strengthen and send large-scale forces to Tel Aviv” to track down the terrorist. “It was a very difficult night. Wherever the terrorist is, we will find him. And anyone who helps you directly or indirectly will pay a price.“said the prime minister in a statement. A few days ago he announced that the secret services and the army had foiled at least 15 attacks.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, condemned “the terrorist attack” and assured that they were in “regular contact with their Israeli partners, with whom they position themselves against senseless terrorism and violence”.

The identity of the attacker and the reasons for the attack are still unclear., and the authorities have not yet reported whether it is linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The police would have a photo of him taken by security cameras wearing a black T-shirt and pants, while he was carrying a blue backpack.

Thursday’s attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as Israeli security forces expect tens of thousands of Palestinian faithful from the occupied West Bank to pray on Friday on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Days of high tension in Israel

The shooting follows a recent escalation of tension in the region three attacks in a few days in Israel, two of which were claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), which resulted in one of the most fatal episodes in the country in several years. In the past week, a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank killed five people by opening fire from his vehicle (including two Ukrainians and an Israeli Arab policeman) in the Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv.

A few days later, two policemen were killed in an ISIS-claimed shooting in Hadera, northern Israel. On March 22, a person linked to the same terrorist group stabbed and killed four Israelis, two men and two women, in the southern city of Beersheva. The attacker was identified as a teacher sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for planning to travel to Syria to fight alongside ISIS.

Following these attacks, the Israeli police and internal security services arrested dozens of people for their alleged ties to the Islamic State. At least three fighters from Islamic Jihad, the second largest armed Islamist movement in the Palestinian territories behind Hamas, were killed in a police-related shooting in Jenin last week.

Like the previous attacks, Thursday’s was also celebrated by the Islamist movement Hamas, which however did not claim responsibility for the shooting, nor by any other Palestinian armed group. Hamas applauded what it called a “heroic attack” in an official statementwhile one of its historical leaders, Mahmud a-Zahar, expressed his personal satisfaction in supporting this “This operation is a consequence of the continuous aggression against our land and our holy places”.

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