Gunman opens fire in Israel’s Tel Aviv, wounds three, Hamas claims attack

Three people were shot dead in Tel Aviv on Thursday in an attack carried out by a member of the armed wing of the Palestinian group Hamas, Israeli police said.

The shooting happened at around 8:40 pm (1840 GMT) on Dizengoff Avenue, a popular nightlife spot in the center of Tel Aviv, where a Palestinian attack killed three people in April 2022.

“Three victims of today’s attack in Tel Aviv are still alive, one of them was pronounced dead,” Israeli police spokesman Dean Elsdun told AFP.

In a statement, Hamas said the attack was carried out by a member of its armed wing.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on an official visit to Rome, wished a “speedy recovery to the injured” in a brief televised statement.

Israeli police said a suspect shot a pedestrian before being neutralized by officers.

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“I heard gunshots and saw people running. I immediately loaded my gun and ran to the scene,” David Friedman, a police officer who helped shoot the attacker, told AFP.

At one point, “I fired three rounds at him, [a colleague] He also fired three rounds and when he fell, he was shot again so that he could not get up again.”

Israel’s Minister of Internal Security Itamar Ben Gvir congratulated “the police officer who, in a courageous act, eliminated the heinous terrorist and saved many lives”.

The Magen David Adom emergency response service said three injured were taken to hospital.

Magen David Adom director Eli Bin told Israel’s Kan television: “We evacuated three people with gunshot wounds, one in critical condition, one with serious injuries and one with minor injuries.”

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– ‘De-escalate’ –

Three armed Palestinians were killed in an Israeli military operation in the northern part of the occupied West Bank on Thursday.

Several Palestinian armed groups on Tuesday called for revenge for the death of six Palestinians in an Israeli army raid in the northern West Bank.

During a brief visit to Tel Aviv on Thursday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called for “the need to de-escalate, ease tensions and restore peace, especially ahead of the Passover and Ramadan holidays”.

In Beitar Illit, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank southwest of Jerusalem, the army said bomb disposal experts detonated a suspicious package found on a bus on Thursday evening.

Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 76 Palestinians, 12 civilians and an Israeli police officer, as well as a Ukrainian woman, according to an AFP count based on Israeli and Palestinian official sources.

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