Israeli sources said five Israelis were shot dead by a Palestinian in a suburb of Tel Aviv before the latter was killed. Israel declared the highest level of alert in light of the developments.
Update: March 30, 10:22: Israeli sources identified the Israelis as Yaakov Shalom, 36, Avishai Yhezkel, 29, from Bnei Brak, officer Amir Khouri, 32, from Nazareth.
The remaining two are Ukraine Nationals whose names are yet to be officially released. Only referred to, so far, as Shasha and Dima, two workers from Ukraine who were eating outdoors.
An Israeli police spokesperson said the Palestinian young man carried the fatal shootings out in two areas in Bnei Brak, east of Tel Aviv, and added that one of the Israelis killed in the attack was an officer who tried to stop the attack.
The spokesperson added that the four other Israeli civilians were shot dead by the Palestinian.
Israeli daily Haaretz said footage from the scene shows the Palestinian armed with an assault rifle before entering a convenience store and shooting one young man who fled to a nearby building.
“The shooter then aimed his rifle at another person riding on a bike but missed and opened fire at a passing car. The car stopped after the initial fire, at which point the assailant came closer to it and fired through the window at the driver, who was killed,” Haaretz added.
Haaretz quoted the Israeli police stating that the Palestinian was shot dead by an officer, identified as Amir Khoury, 32.
The Palestinian who carried the shooting out was identified as Dia’ Hamarsha, 27, from Ya’bad town, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin. In 2013, he was detained by Israel and spent six months in prison.
The police initiated massive searches in the area and detained a Palestinian construction worker who had no work permit but apparently had nothing to do with the shooting.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a meeting with the Army Chief of Staff and the head of the Shin Bet security service, the head of military intelligence, and the head of military operations to assess the situation.
Haaretz said the Israeli Security Cabinet plans to hold a meeting to discuss the fatal attack and assess the situation.
Israeli Ynet News stated that Magen David Adom paramedics said they found the corpses of the Palestinian and one Israeli in Hertzl Street in Bnei Barak.
It added that another Israeli was found dead inside his car, and two Israelis were shot dead on Bialik Street in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city.
The Ynet stated that another Israeli was seriously injured after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to his body and was rushed to Beilinson Hospital in critical condition.”
Hours after the fatal shooting, dozens of Israeli military vehicles were deployed around Ya’bad town, before isolating the entire area.
In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, illegal Israeli colonizers attacked and caused damage to dozens of Palestinian cars and closed many roads in several parts of the city and its surrounding areas.
The colonizers also attacked and caused damage to many Palestinian cars near Ramallah, in the central West Bank, Jenin, Tulkarem, and Nablus in the northern part of the occupied territory.
One Palestinian, Zaki Abdul-Rahim Oleiwi, 41, was also injured after several colonizers attacked him near Shavei Shomron illegal colony, built on Palestinian lands northwest of Nablus.
The Palestinian, from Sebastia town near Nablus, suffered a fracture in the army and several bruises before he was rushed to Rafidia hospital in Nablus.
In occupied Jerusalem, an Israeli colonizer rammed a Palestinian with his car at the al-Ezariyah junction, while many colonizers hurled stones at Palestinians and their cars in the at-Tour town and several other areas, causing damage.
The Palestinian, Fadi Damiri from Silwan town, was rushed to a hospital in Jerusalem.
Israeli soldiers also abducted a young Palestinian man in the Bab al-Amoud area, in Jerusalem.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the shooting and stated that the ongoing killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians would only lead to further deterioration and expressed his support for all efforts that would lead to achieving stability and avoiding escalation, especially due to the upcoming Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holidays.
Abbas also warned that illegal Israeli colonizers in the West Bank would likely escalate their ongoing violations and attacks against the Palestinians.
“Comprehensive and just peace is the shortest and fastest way to achieve security and stability for the Palestinians and the Israelis,” he added.
- This is a developing story.