WASHINGTON — A gunman shot and wounded three people outside a cafe on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, striking a lively area of the city on Thursday night, the beginning of the weekend in Israel. It is the latest act of violence in a period of escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The shooter was shot and killed by police following the attack.
The shooting Thursday evening left one of the cafe goers in critical condition and one in serious condition. The third person who was wounded had a moderate injury.
Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip and is the rival to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, did not claim responsibility but said the shooting was in retaliation for the killing of three Palestinians in a firefight with Israeli forces in the West Bank town of Jenin. The shooter was affiliated with Hamas and had served time in Israeli prison, according to Israeli reports.
Violence between Israelis and Palestinians has increased since a wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks on Israelis last May, which has been followed by frequent Israeli military raids on militants in Palestinian centers in the West Bank. One such raid in the Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin this week killed six militants.
More than a dozen Israelis, most of them civilians, have been killed in Palestinian terror attacks since the start of 2023. During that same period, Israel has killed more than 60 Palestinians, including a number of civilians, in military raids.