3rd man dies after Tel Aviv shooting, as suspected attacker killed by security forces
Security officials say officers found man hiding near mosque in Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv
A third Israeli has died following the attack by a Palestinian man who opened fire into a crowded bar in central Tel Aviv. Israeli security forces said they hunted down and killed the attacker early Friday.
The shooting on Thursday evening in a downtown area packed with people in bars and restaurants caused scenes of mass panic in the heart of the bustling city. Two people were instantly killed and over 10 people were wounded.
A Tel Aviv hospital on Friday afternoon announced that Barak Lufan, 35, who was wounded in the shooting, had succumbed to his injuries.
It was the fourth deadly attack in Israel by Palestinians in three weeks, and came at a time of heightened tensions around the start of Ramadan. Tens of thousands of Palestinians attended the first Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month in Jerusalem amid a heavy Israeli security presence, with no immediate reports of unrest.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with top security officials and announced that a major crossing in the northern West Bank near the attacker's hometown would be closed indefinitely.
"Every murderer will know that we'll get to him, and anyone who helps terrorists should know that the price he will pay will be unbearable," Bennett said in a statement.
Israel proceeded with plans to allow Palestinian women, children and older men from the occupied West Bank to enter Jerusalem for prayers. Protests and clashes in the holy city during Ramadan last year eventually ignited an 11-day Gaza war.
2 childhood friends killed in shooting
Thursday's shooting took place in a crowded bar on Dizengoff Street, a central thoroughfare that has seen other attacks over the years. Thursday night is the beginning of the Israeli weekend, and the area was busy.
In videos spread on social media, dozens of terrified people were seen running through the streets as police searched for the attacker and ordered people to stay indoors. The two killed on the spot were identified as Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini, childhood friends in their late 20s from Kfar Saba, a town just north of Tel Aviv.
Hundreds of Israeli police officers, canine units, and army special forces, had conducted a massive manhunt throughout the night across Tel Aviv, searching building by building through densely populated residential neighbourhoods.
Early Friday, authorities said they found the attacker hiding near a mosque in Jaffa, an Arab neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv, and killed him in a shootout.
The Shin Bet internal security service identified the attacker as a 28-year-old Palestinian from Jenin, in the occupied West Bank. It said he did not belong to an organized militant group and had no prior record. It said he had entered Israel illegally without a permit.