by Ron Kampeas
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — At least one gunman shot people at different locations along a downtown Tel Aviv street on Thursday night, leaving what Israeli emergency responders said were at least two people dead and four injured in critical condition.
Police said they were in pursuit of at least one gunman, and called on people to stay indoors and stay away from windows. Witnesses described policemen running through the city streets, guns drawn.
A spokesman for Magen David Adom, Israel’s main responder, said at least 16 people were evacuated to hospitals; it was not clear if this number included those who were declared dead.
Media reports claim the attack occurred on a busy section of Dizengoff Street, where bars and restaurants are concentrated.
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The two casualties died from their wounds at the Sourasky Medical Center hospital. Ron Huldai, Tel Aviv’s mayor, said the attack apparently had terrorist motives.
Terrorists, some identified with the Islamic State group, killed 11 people within Israel’s 1967 lines over the course of a week last month.
The attacks come at the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim holiday when tensions are often heightened around prayer spaces in Jerusalem. Israeli police and Muslim worshippers clashed for weeks around the same time last year.