Two people are killed and several injured by a shooter in Tel Aviv’s crowded center.

TELAVIV, Israel — A Palestinian opened fired into central Tel Aviv’s crowded bar, wounding at least two others. Officials said that the attacker was from the occupied West Bank and had been evading police for several hours before being killed by security forces in a shootout early Friday. This was the fourth attack on Israel by Palestinians within three weeks. It also occurred at a time when tensions were high around Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. Protests and clashes in Jerusalem during Ramadan last year eventually ignited an 11-day Gaza war. The militant Hamas group, which controls the Gaza Strip, praised the attack and did not take responsibility. Hundreds of Israeli canine units and police officers conducted an extensive manhunt through Tel Aviv’s densely-populated neighborhoods, looking for the attacker building after building.

Israel’s Shin Bet security agency stated that they finally captured the terrorist in a Jaffa mosque, and that he was later killed in an altercation of fire.

“After an exhausting night and hours of work by the Shin Bet security agency, police and army, we managed to finally close the circle and kill the terrorist this morning through intelligence and operational cooperation,” Kobi Shabtai, Israeli chief police officer, said.

Thursday saw the terrorist attack in the Israeli nightlife district at the beginning of the Israeli weekend. The shots were heard by medics and witnesses described panicked scenes with many fleeing the scene.

Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service said two men around 30 years old were killed. It said that seven more people had been injured, with three being seriously.

Eleven Israelis died in the attacks that preceded them, making it one of most violent waves in recent years.

The shooting occurred on Dizengoff Street. This central thoroughfare has been the scene of other violent attacks in recent years. The most recent incident saw an Arab citizen from Israel shoot and kill two Israelis, and injure several more on Dizengoff Street. This happened in January 2016.. In recent weeks,

Israeli and Jordanian leaders met in a frenzy. Israel took a variety of measures to calm tensions. This includes issuing thousands more work permits to Palestinians living in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Prior to the attack, Israel had said it would allow women, children and men over 40 from the occupied West Bank to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in east Jerusalem on Friday, the first weekly prayers of Ramadan. Tens of thousands were expected.

The mosque, which is third in Islam’s holiest sites, is located on the highest sacred spot for Jews. They call it the Temple Mount. Since long, the holy site has been an epicenter of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Israel has focused on forging alliances against Iran and the Palestinian question . The century-old conflict is still as difficult as ever.

Israel seized east Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza Strip during the 1967 Mideast War. Palestinians desire all three territories as part of their new state. More than 10 years ago, the last meaningful peace negotiations ended. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is against Palestinian statehood.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem, a decision that was not recognised internationally. It considers all of the city its capital. This building is what it does , and this is something that most international communities consider illegal.

It drew troops and settlers to Gaza in 2005. It imposed a severe blockade along with Egypt after militant Hamas seized control from the Palestinian rival forces in two years. Since then, Israel and Hamas has fought four wars.

Hamas spokesman Abdelatif Al-Qanou said late Thursday that the “the heroic attack in the heart of the (Israeli) entity has struck the Zionist security system and proved our people’s ability to hurt the occupation.”

On March 29, a 27-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank shot and killed five people in the central town of Bnei Brak. Two police officers were killed in a shooting attack two days prior by Islamic State group sympathizers. A week earlier, four IS supporters attacked and killed four persons in a car-ramming attack in Beersheba. Palestinian Israeli citizens carried out the Beersheba and Hadera attacks.

The recent attacks seem to have been perpetrated by single assailants or with assistance from accomplices. They have not been claimed by any Palestinian militant groups, but Hamas welcomed them.

Israel claims the conflict is a result of the Palestinians refusing to recognize it as a Jewish nation and attributes attacks partly to incitement via social media. Palestinians say such attacks are the inevitable result of a nearly 55-year military occupation that shows no sign of ending.


Krauss reported from Jerusalem. This report was contributed by Ilan Ben Zion, an Associated Press journalist from Jerusalem.

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