Three Israelis Shot and Wounded in Tel Aviv

12:00 Mar 9 2023 Dizengoff St 164, Tel Aviv (תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ تل أبيب – يافا )

Scene. Screenshot. Published by IMEMC News

Scene of the shooting in central Tel Aviv on Thursday night. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum Published by Haaretz

Dizengoff St 164. Map. Published by Haaretz

Mutaz Salah al-Khawaja. Published by Haaretz

Netanyahu receiving a note with news of the shooting attack in Tel Aviv while at a synagogue in Rome on Thursday night. Credit: Gili Cohen, Kan11 Published by Haaretz

Scene of the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday night. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum Published by Haaretz

Scene of the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday night. Credit: Itay Ron Published by Haaretz

by IMEMC News
March 10, 2023

On Thursday, a gunman opened fire on Israelis at a restaurant on a crowded Tel Aviv street, wounding three before being shot by police.

The three wounded men were in their thirties, according to Israeli sources, and their injuries were identified as: one critical, one serious and one light. The three were rushed to the Ichilov hospital after medics administered emergency first aid to two of the men, who were lying on the ground.

The alleged perpetrator was shot by Israeli police, and then taken into custody. His condition is unknown. He has been identified as 23-year old Ma’atez Hawaja from the village of Nil’in, in the West Bank.

The incident took place on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv.

The Tel Aviv Israeli police commander stated, “Tel Aviv naturally is always a target and despite our being on high alert, we had no prior knowledge of the attack”.

After taking Hawaja into custody, Israeli forces invaded his home village and raided his family home, ransacking belongings and assaulting his family members.

Just a few blocks from the shooting, a protest was taking place when the incident occurred. The protest was challenging the Israeli government’s corruption, and was not affiliated with the attack at the cafe.

One nearby resident told Ha’aretz that he heard eight shots fired, and came outside and saw two men lying on the ground.

Soon after the incident, Israelis gathered at the scene and chanted “Death to Arabs”, while waving the Israeli flag.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (the main target of the anti-corruption protesters), who is currently in Rome, stated, “There has been a grave incident in Tel Aviv, A terror attack. We commend the police and security forces fighting terrorists this evening and everywhere. I am certain this will not weaken our resolve to continue building our country and securing our future.”

In the last three days, Israeli troops have killed ten Palestinians and wounded dozens more with live ammunition, mainly in Jenin, in the northern West Bank. No Israelis have been killed in that time period.

Hamas Claims Responsibility for Tel Aviv Terror Shooting That Wounded Three Israelis

Shooting attack in the heart of Tel Aviv at the end of a day of protests ■ One of the victims is in critical condition, while the other two sustained serious and moderate wounds ■ Defense minister orders immediate demolition of assailant's family home

by Bar Peleg, Michael Hauser Tov, Josh Breiner, Jack Khoury, Deiaa Haj Yahia, and Ben Samuels for Haaretz
March 9, 2023

Three people were wounded in a shooting attack near a central Tel Aviv restaurant on Thursday night, emergency services report. Two of the three victims – all in their thirties – are in serious condition and one is in moderate condition.

The militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Tel Aviv district police commander Ami Eshed said police had shot and killed the assailant at the scene and are currently looking for other related suspects. Eshed added that since the shooting, all the anti-government protests have dispersed.

An off-duty police officer sitting at a bar across the street shot the assailant, who according to security sources had entered Israel illegally.

The assailant, who was shot dead, was a Palestinian identified as 23-year-old Mutaz Salah al-Khawaja from the West Bank town of Ni'lin, near Ramallah. Security sources told Haaretz that Khawajeh was affiliated with Hamas and had spent time in Israeli prison for previous security offenses.

At the scene of the attack, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said that the terrorist opened fire while running and hit three people, and that two policemen and two civilians who were at the scene shot the terrorist to death.

Receiving updates while on his official visit in Rome, Italy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he supports the "actions taken by police and security forces in apprehending the terrorists this evening and everywhere." Netanyahu emphasized that Israel will maintain its resilience, and will continue "building our country, planting deep roots in our homeland and securing our common future."

The European Union condemned the attack in a statement on Friday, saying that "This senseless act demonstrates once again how urgent it is to stop the cycle of violence and de-escalate the situation. We urge all parties to show restraint and not to react to such provocations."

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said that he is "praying for the wounded and wishing them a complete recovery, on behalf of the entire nation of Israel." He added that the officer who shot the assailant took "brave action [and] eliminated the despicable terrorist and saved many lives."

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant directed security forces to take immediate action to demolish the al-Khawaja's family home.

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Kassem said that the shooting attack was "a quick and natural response to the crime committed today in Jaba'." He added that "the time has passed when the occupation of our people goes without a response. All the Zionist security forces collapsed today in the face of the heroic action."

Huldai urged "residents to return home and let security forces do their jobs to ensure that this terrorist attack will end." He stressed that an ongoing security situation is happening and called for the anti-government protests to end.

Commenting on the attack, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said he was "Shocked by tonight’s brazen terrorist attack in Tel Aviv that targeted innocent people. Praying for those who were injured."

Last April, a Palestinian gunman murdered three young Israelis in an attack on a bar on Dizengoff Street. Ten people were wounded in the attack as well.

This is a developing story, more details to come.
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