Two killed, several wounded in Tel Aviv shooting

Israeli police say at least two people killed, at least seven wounded in shooting attack in Tel Aviv

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israeli border police secure an area near the scene of the shooting in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Updated Jan 2, 2016

Two people were killed and at least seven others were wounded in a shooting in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon.

A gunman opened fire on a pub and a nearby cafe on a busy main street in central Tel Aviv, before fleeing. 

The motive behind the attack was not immediately clear. However, police described the shooting as a nationalist terror attack. 

Medics have reported that nine people were taken to hospitals in Tel Aviv, authorities said two of the victims died in the hospital.

Footage from a security camera shows the attacker, who appears to be in his 20's, browsing a store on Dizengoff Street before opening fire. 

A large scale investigation to apprehend the suspect is ongoing.

"All possible angles are being investigated," police spokeswoman Luba Samri said without elaborating. "Large-scale police forces are conducting searches for him."

Sami Melhem, an Israeli Arab lawyer, came forward and claimed that the fugitive was a relative of his after seeing the broadcasted footage. The suspects name has not been disclosed under a court suppression order.

Melhem, who previously represented the man in a court case, described him as mentally unstable. 

"This man is not sane, to the best of my knowledge since I represented him," Melhem said. "He has received treatment. He is receiving treatment. Recently he has been going around in the street as an insane person."

Two of the victims killed have been identified as Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi from southern Israel.

Friday's attack is the latest in more than three months of Israeli-Palestinian violence. At least 131 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, while Palestinian attacks have claimed 21 Israeli lives.


TRTWorld and agencies