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Israeli Security Forces: Tel Aviv Shooter Had Accomplices

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People light candles at the site of Thursday night's shooting attack, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 8, 2022.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has put security forces on high alert, saying the attacker who shot and killed three young men at a Tel Aviv bar had accomplices.

Israeli forces killed the suspected gunman after an all-night manhunt that included a door-to-door search in residential neighborhoods of Tel Aviv.

On Friday, Bennett promised a harsh response to the attack.

"Every murderer knows we will find them. Everyone who helps a terrorist should know that they will pay a heavy price," he said.

People gather to pay their respects at the site of a shooting attack the previous night, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 8, 2022.
People gather to pay their respects at the site of a shooting attack the previous night, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 8, 2022.

Israel's Shin Bet security service identified the assailant as 28-year-old Raad Hazem, a Palestinian from Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, who had entered Israel illegally.

Authorities say the attacker opened fire at a bar in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel's financial and cultural capital, killing three young Israelis, childhood friends out for a beer.

They say they found the attacker near a mosque in the Jaffa neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv and killed him in a shootout.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack. He said the killing of civilians on either side "can only lead to a further deterioration of the situation."

Police response

Footage of Thursday's attack at the bar showed police arriving at the scene and pointing their guns at the upper levels of a building, as well as an explosion.

Hours after the shooting, hundreds of Israeli police officers, army special forces and canine units conducted a search through neighborhoods in central Tel Aviv.

Israeli security forces search for assailants near the scene of a shooting attack in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 7, 2022.
Israeli security forces search for assailants near the scene of a shooting attack in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 7, 2022.

The motive for the attack was not directly clear; however, tensions have been high in Israel after a wave of similar attacks by Palestinians that have left 13 Israelis dead. Israel has placed thousands of police and soldiers on the streets to try to stop future attacks.

The shootings occurred on Dizengoff Street, the site of a 2016 attack in which an Arab citizen of Israel shot and killed two Israelis and wounded several others.

In recent weeks, Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders have had many meetings concerning managing the tensions in the country and issuing thousands of work permits for Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

VOA's Linda Gradstein contributed to this report. Some information for this story came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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