Two terrorists who opened fired at a crowded shopping complex near the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv have been captured and identified as Palestinians. The shooting resulted in the death of four Israelis and wounded about seven people who are in critical conditions.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the terrorists, one of who was shot, were arrested at the upscale Sarona market. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet.
CNN reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the attacks as “a savage crime, murder in the heart of Tel Aviv.” He added, “We will take the necessary steps to attack the attackers and defend those who need to be defended.”
A video footage captured by a camera at nearby café showed confusion and panic within the crowd as they tried to escape. People went down on all fours and crawled across the floor to avoid being shot whereas some carried their kids in their arms. “I was with the family, eating pizza. We heard the shots, we didn’t know what was happening, and everybody got down on the floor. We managed to escape to a cellar,” the Irish Examiner quoted a woman who shared her experience with Israel’s Channel 10 television.
According to the police, the gunmen hailed from a village located near the Palestinian city of Hebron. Attacks by Palestinians on the streets of Israel had shown a significant decrease in the past several months. The two gunmen were cousins and were eating at a restaurant. They suddenly pulled out their guns and opened fire at the crowd, in response to which the security guards also started firing back.
“People were having coffee,” the CNN quoted Amir Ohana, a member of the Israeli Parliament who was at Sarona Market at the time of the incident. “I saw a birthday cake on one of the tables. And then you see the chairs upside down and glass shattered and blood all over.”