Did You Know
Did You Know
At least four people were killed in a shooting in central Tel Aviv Wednesday that police are describing as aimed against Israelis.
A Fox News producer in Jerusalem confirmed the death toll and said five others who were wounded are in severe condition.
The attack took place around 10 p.m. local time in an upscale area of cafes and restaurants near the central military headquarters and Defense Ministry compound.
The two attackers were described to Fox News as Palestinian cousins from Yata in the Hebron area of the West Bank who were known to Israeli authorities. The two attackers were both dressed as Orthodox Jews, a law enforcement source told Fox News.
One of the suspects was shot by police, while the other one was captured by authorities, Israeli Police Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told Fox News. The suspect shot by police is in moderate condition at a nearby hospital, according to Rosenfeld.
The weapons used by the attackers included a "Karl Gustav improvised machine gun," Israeli police told Fox News.
Meital Sassi told Channel 10 TV she was out with her family celebrating her son's birthday when she heard shots and "immediately understood it was a terror attack."
"We ran like lighting with the baby and the stroller.... I yelled at people who didn't understand what was happening to run," she said.
Tel Aviv district police chief Moshe Edri told Haaretz there was no prior terror alert before the shooting took place.
The Ynet news website showed CCTV footage of civilians running into a nearby restaurant to take cover.
Shlomi Hajaj, director of the market, told Channel 10 that security guards at the entrance "prevented the attackers from entering the facility, averting a bigger disaster as the compound was packed with people."
Channel 10 cited witnesses as saying the two attackers were dressed in suits and ties and spent time in a nearby restaurant, sitting at the bar, before the attack. It showed footage of police forensic teams dressed in white suits examining items in restaurants at the scene.
Police told Reuters that Israelis were the focus of the attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his defense minister and security leaders shortly after the attack and then traveled to the scene. He called the attack a "cold blooded murder by despicable terrorists," according to a statement from his office.
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, welcomed the attack but did not claim responsibility for it. Hamas official Mushir al-Masri called the shootings a "heroic operation" and the group later issued an official statement promising the "Zionists" more "surprises" during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner condemned the "horrific terrorist attack" in a statement, saying "cowardly attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement he was shocked that Hamas leaders "chose to welcome this attack."
Israel has been struggling to cope with eight months of Palestinian attacks that have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans. About 200 Palestinians have been killed during that time, most identified as attackers by Israel.