A Palestinian gunman opened fire on a crowded street in central Tel Aviv on Thursday, wounding three people before he was shot and killed, according to Israel Police. The shooting came hours after an Israeli military raid killed three Palestinian in the occupied West Bank.
“A 23-year-old Palestinian terrorist shot three innocent civilians in Tel Aviv. The civilians were injured to varying degrees and are receiving medical treatment in hospital,” a Police statement said.
The shooting occurred on Dizengoff Street, a popular area filled with shops and restaurants. The city was crowded with people on Thursday night, as anti-government protests continue across the country.
Footage from a security camera inside a restaurant showed the gunman approaching three pedestrians from behind on a sidewalk across the street. He shot one man in the head, leaving him motionless on the ground, as the other two pedestrians fled.
Dozens of police and rescuers rushed to the scene, which was quickly cordoned off.
The Hamas militant group said the attacker, a 23-year-old former prisoner named Muataz Khawaja, was a member of the organisation’s armed wing. Hamas said the shooting came in response to an Israeli military arrest raid that day that killed three gunmen in the northern village of Jaba.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in Rome, said the government was working to “strengthen the security forces and the police who are fighting terrorists this night and every night.”
Meanwhile, an IDF spokesman reported that troops “are operating in the town of Ni’lin at the residence of the terrorist who committed the attack.”
Israeli authorities often demolish the homes of the families of Palestinian attackers, a practice widely criticized as collective punishment by international human rights organizations.
Just hours after the shooting in Tel Aviv, an Israeli settler killed a Palestinian man who entered a settlement in the occupied West Bank armed with knives and explosive devices, according to the Israeli military.
The Israeli military said the armed Palestinian slipped into a farm near the settlement of Karnei Shomron, in the northern West Bank, and was fatally shot by an Israeli settler overseeing the land. Palestinian authorities identified the man as 21-year-old Abed al-Sheikh and said Israeli security forces had raided his house and several others in the nearby Palestinian village of Saniriya.
The incidents are the latest acts of violence in a year-long wave of Israel-Palestinian fighting that shows no signs of slowing. Since the start of 2023, at least 75 Palestinians and 14 Israelis have been killed.