Two killed, seven wounded, in Tel Aviv shooting

Two killed, seven wounded, in Tel Aviv shooting
A gunman opened fire at a popular bar in the central Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon, killing two, before fleeing the scene.
2 min read
01 January, 2016

Tel Aviv shooting

Two people were killed and at least seven wounded Friday when a gunman opened fire on a pub and nearby cafe in central Tel Aviv, but the motive was not immediately clear.

Media reports identified the shooter as a Palestinian in his late 20s who had recently been imprisoned for five years for attempting to wrestle a gun off an Israeli soldier.

Local Palestinian reports say that Israeli soldiers are combing the village of Aara in Palestine, where the alleged shooter resided. 

On Friday evening, a former defence lawyer for the young man said that his former client suffered mental health problems.  

Ayman Odeh, who heads the Joint List that groups the main Arab parties in the Israeli parliament, said that "while not all the details of the incident are clear yet," he "sharply and clearly" condemned any attack on innocent people.

Video footage from a surveillance camera shows a man shopping in a grocery on the street of the attack before grabbing a gun out of his backpack and opening fire outside the store.

Medics said they took nine people to hospitals in Tel Aviv, with police saying two of them had died.

An AFP reporter said patrons at the pub and a nearby cafe had been shot at, and that the sidewalk was strewn with chairs and broken glass as forensic officers examined the scene.

"Police units searching Tel Aviv area for suspect who carried out shooting. All injured taken to Tel Aviv hospitals," spokesman Micky Rosenfeld wrote on Twitter.

Hundreds of police were scouring the area, entering buildings in the vicinity as police helicopters buzzed overhead.