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June 8, 2016 3:43 pm

4 Israelis Killed, 5 Wounded in Terrorist Shooting Spree in Tel Aviv

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Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai in the aftermath of the attack.

Four Israelis were killed and five others wounded in a multiple shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, the Hebrew media reported. According to Israel’s Channel 2, two Palestinian terrorists committed the attack, and they were shot and neutralized by security forces.

The shooting took place at the restaurant-laden Sarona compound, across from the Kirya military headquarters. Police spokeswoman Meirav Lapidot told Channel 2 that the public should stay away from the area, which is being scoured for possible explosive devices left behind by the terrorists, who went on a shooting spree against diners and passers-by, and then tried to flee.

The wounded were evacuated to the Ichilov Medical Center, where three were initially pronounced dead, and a fourth died on the operating table. One of the terrorists is among the wounded being treated for moderate wounds; the condition of the other terrorist is not yet clear.

One witness at the scene told Channel 2 that he heard people shouting, “Why? Why?” as gunfire and a possible pipe-bomb explosion rang through the air.

The perpetrators were identified by police as relatives from the West Bank city of Hebron. So far, according to official reports, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although shortly afterwards Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh tweeted his delight over the shooting, “Glory and salutations to the Hebronites,” he said, alongside a victory sign emoji.

Responding to the incident, Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai said, “It was a hard night in Tel Aviv. There was another attack in which terrorists, who were apparently sitting at a coffee shop, hid their weapons and then started firing indiscriminately.”

“We ask the public to remain calm,” Huldai added. “We in Tel Aviv are a target of terrorism, and they are trying to disrupt our lives. We will continue to enjoy living in the city, and terrorism will not make us surrender. I ask everyone to return to their daily routine tomorrow.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who just landed in Tel Aviv from a landmark trip to Russia, where he and President Vladimir Putin celebrated the 25th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic ties between Moscow and Jerusalem  and discussed the future of Syria and the Palestinian issue — decided to hold an emergency meeting of the security cabinet on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon issued the following statement:

Today’s heinous attack sadly proves that when the international community refuses to condemn terror against Israelis, the next attack is only a matter of time. Terror in Tel Aviv must be treated the same as terror in Paris or Istanbul. I call on the Security Council and the Secretary General to unequivocally condemn this murderous Palestinian attack.  They must demand that the Palestinian leadership put an immediate end to their hateful rhetoric which incites terrorism.

The Sarona attack was the latest incident in the surge in Palestinian terrorism that began in September.

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