Manhunt Ensues After Terrorist Attack in Tel Aviv

Credit: United Hatzalah

A manhunt continues in Tel Aviv after an individual armed with a gun carried out a shooting attack on Dizengoff street Thursday night. Two civilians were killed and at least ten injured in the assault, according to Israeli reports.

Israeli security forces have not released information about the shooter, although footage released by authorities show the suspect walking on Dizengoff street before the strike.

Despite the increased security presence due to previous terrorist attacks, the shooter successfully carried out the assault and managed to escape.

Thursday’s strike is the fourth high-profile terrorist attack in Israel over the last two and a half weeks.

The first in the series of major assaults occurred on March 22 when an Islamic State-inspired terrorist, Abu al-Qia’an, launched an “operation” in Be’er Sheba that resulted in the death of four Israeli civilians. The claim refers to Qia’an as an inghamasi (suicide commando) suggesting he may have also been a member of the Islamic State, although Israeli security officials believe he was a lone-wolf.

On March 27, two cousins, Ayman and Khaled Ighbariyah, swore bayat (oath of allegiance) to the Islamic State and its new leader, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi, before launching a shooting attack in northern Israel. The strike resulted in the killing of two Israeli border police officers and the injury of several civilians.

Lastly, on March 29, Dia Hamarsha, a Palestinian from a village near the West Bank town of Jenin, shot and killed four civilians and one police officer in the city of Benei Berak.

Thursday’s attack drew praise from Palestinian militant organizations with some blaming Israeli provocations against Palestinians as the cause.

Hamas went a step further in its published statement claiming the assault was in response to Israel’s attempts to “Judaize Jerusalem” and “offering sacrifices at the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque” for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover.

Despite statements by Palestinian militant organizations praising and encouraging further offensives, none have claimed responsibility.

The shooting was also lauded by activists and supporters of the Iran-led Resistance Axis. Footage of celebratory rallies in Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon were published on Palestinian social media.

At the present time, Israeli security forces continue to search for the perpetrator of Thursday night’s shooting.

Update: The perpetrator of the Tel Aviv shooting attack was killed by Israeli counter-terrorism forces in Jaffa Friday morning. He has been identified as Raed Hazem, a Palestinian from the West Bank town of Jenin, according to a Palestinian report.

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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