Three people were wounded in a terrorist shooting in the heart of Tel Aviv on Thursday night.
According to the Magen David Adom emergency medical service, three men in their 30s were shot next to a cafe on the corner of Dizengoff Street and Ben-Gurion Street in the center of the Israeli coastal city.
The victims were rushed to the nearby Ichilov Hospital, with one in critical condition. The other two were listed in serious and moderate condition, respectively.
Police said the attacker initially fled the scene but was shot and killed in an exchange of fire with security forces.
Israeli media identified the terrorist as 23-year-old Palestinian Mutaz al-Khawaja from the town of Ni’lin beyond the Green Line. The reports said he was a Hamas member who on two occasions was jailed in Israel. Israel Defense Forces and Israeli security forces are currently operating in the West Bank town of Ni’lin at the terrorist’s residence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said from Italy, where he was meeting with leaders on Thursday, that “there has been another terror attack in the heart of Tel Aviv. We send our hopes and our wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded, and we strengthen the security forces who are fighting terrorists this night and every night.”
He added that “we will continue to build our nation and deepen our roots, and to build our common future as brothers and sisters.”
Last April, three Israelis were killed in a terror attack on Dizengoff Street, a popular thoroughfare full of shops, restaurants and bars.
The attack on Thursday night is the latest in a wave of terrorism to strike Israel.
On Feb. 26, a Palestinian attacker gunned down brothers Hallel Menachem and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv while they were driving near the village of Huwara in Samaria.
The next day, Palestinian terrorists killed Israeli-American Elan Ganeles near the Beit Ha’arava Junction close to Jericho in the Jordan Valley.
Earlier in February, a terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood claimed the lives of Yaakov Israel Paley, 6; his brother, Asher Menachem Paley, 8; and 20-year-old Alter Shlomo Lederman. Three days later, Israeli soldier Staff Sgt. Asil Sawaed, 22, died from wounds sustained in a terrorist attack at a checkpoint to Shuafat in Jerusalem.
On Jan. 27, seven people were killed and several others were wounded in a terrorist shooting rampage at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood.