The author of the armed attack which killed two people and caused scenes of chaos in the heart of Tel Aviv on Thursday evening, was killed by the Israeli services this Friday morning. The Israeli security services announced that they had killed the author of the attack after a nine-hour manhunt. “The terrorist who carried out the armed attack yesterday in Tel Aviv has been located and neutralized,” the officials said on Friday morning, adding that the man, a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank, had been killed near a mosque in the Jaffa district, south of the city.
Residents had been warned not to leave their homes as hundreds of Israeli security agents, assisted by a helicopter fitted with a searchlight, combed the streets in pursuit.
At 5:20 a.m. local time (6:20 a.m. French time), the man was shot dead during an exchange of fire, the Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, announced. Witnesses heard the gunshots after morning prayers, according to the Haaretz newspaper. Identified as Raëd Fathi Zidan Hazem, he was 28 years old, and originally from the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. He was in Israel illegally.
Magen David Adom, the equivalent of the Israeli Red Cross, said 16 injured people were transferred Thursday to local hospitals in connection with the attack on Dizengoff Street, in the heart of Tel Aviv with its bars and restaurants. cafes. “We have received several seriously injured with different types of injuries, mainly to the chest, abdomen and some to the face (…) unfortunately two of them died and we are currently fighting to save lives,” said said director of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Ronni Gamzu.
The two victims were men, aged 27 and 28. Four of the sixteen injured are still in serious condition this Friday morning. Among these four people are two men aged 20 and 38 and a 28-year-old woman. Three other wounded were stabilized, the others are more moderately affected.
According to the first investigations, the assailant would have wandered in the wide Dizengoff street, undoubtedly in search of a frequented establishment, before sitting down for fifteen minutes on a bench facing the Ilka Bar before throwing his attack. After escaping the scene, he jumped over a fence and dropped a bunch of bullets, then fled down a side street and unsuccessfully tried to shoot another man. He would have fired a dozen bullets in total.
Although Israeli authorities say Raed Hazem had no known affiliation with an armed faction, the Palestinian armed movement Islamic Jihad “welcomed” Thursday’s attack, a “natural response” it said to the “crimes” and to the “occupation” of Israel. Hamas, the ruling movement in Gaza, called it a “heroic operation”. Jenin, where he was from, is also the area of origin of the perpetrator of the March 29 attack in which five people, including two Ukrainians and an Israeli Arab policeman, were killed in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town located in the suburbs of Tel Aviv.
In the wake of this attack, which followed a series of bombings, the army carried out raids in Jenin during which three Islamic Jihad fighters were killed.