Attacker opens fire in a crowded restaurant district in central Israel, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others before fleeing into dense residential area, Israeli officials say.

Security forces gather at the scene of a shooting attack in Dizengoff Street in the centre of Israel's Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022.
Security forces gather at the scene of a shooting attack in Dizengoff Street in the centre of Israel's Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022. (AFP)

At least two people have been killed and several wounded during an attack in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, a hospital said, in the latest incident among a surge of violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank since late March.

"So far, 10 wounded have arrived at the trauma room of Ichilov Hospital. But unfortunately, despite the doctors' efforts, two of the wounded died," Ichilov Hospital said in a statement on Thursday.

It said four of those wounded in the attack were in "critical condition" and undergoing surgery.

Two witnesses told the AFP news agency that they heard gunshots in the centre of Tel Aviv, where police said they were being deployed.

In a statement, they asked residents to stay inside during the incident "which is still ongoing."

'Atmosphere of war'

Eli Bin, head of the Magen David Adom emergency responders, initially told public TV broadcaster Kan that five people were wounded and one was "in a critical state."

Outside a cafe where what appeared to be shattered glass carpeted the ground outside the entrance, a man comforted a woman sitting on a bar stool while police converged on the scene.

"It's an atmosphere of war. Soldiers and police are everywhere... They searched the restaurant," and people are crying, said Binyamin Blum who works in a restaurant near the scene of the attack.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was at army headquarters in the coastal city where he was receiving updates on this, the fourth attack in just over two weeks in Israel.

Prior to Thursday's shooting, 11 people had been killed by attackers in Israel over the past month, the sharpest spike in years.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies