A man in his 30s died and at least eight people were injured on Friday in Tel Aviv, Israel, when an armed person ran his car over a group of Italian and British tourists who were walking through a port area.
This event came just hours after the double murder of two young Israeli women in the West Bank who were riddled with gunfire in the morning after Israeli forces launched airstrikes on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
The offensive was in response to a barrage of rockets which fell in the northern region of Israel and which from Jerusalem blamed the Palestinian organization Hamas.
According to police, the attacker was driving at full speed along the Tel Aviv waterfront when he veered off the road, crossed the bike lane and up the sidewalk, eventually overturning in a parked area.
Israeli Emergency Service Magen David Adom reported the death of a 30-year-old young man. Three of the wounded, two men aged 74 and 39 and a 17-year-old girl, were also indicated to have moderate injuries. Meanwhile, four others, two men aged 50 and 31 and two women aged 70 and 27, were lightly injured. All were transferred to Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv and Wolfson hospital in Holon.
Initial reports were conflicting and indicated that the assailant shot out the window of his vehicle and then crashed, although other witnesses said the assailant ran over the group of tourists, including Italians and Britons.
After traveling several meters along the bike path, he landed on the grass and overturned. The noise attracted a group of police officers who were in the area, who at first thought it was an accident. However, when they approached the scene, the attacker wanted to take the weapon and was killed by the security forces.
Tel Aviv police chief Amichai Eshed said witnesses said the attacker entered a bicycle lane “clearly” and ran over a group of tourists, before eventually overturning the car.
Faced with this situation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the strengthening of security measures.
This incident occurred a year after the Dizengoff Street bombing, when three people were killed and eleven injured in a mass shooting at a Tel Aviv bar.
Two Israeli women killed in the West Bank
What is certain is that during the morning there was also an act of violence near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, where two women in their twenties, both immigrants from Great Britain, were shot and killed. Another 45-year-old woman was seriously injured.
Tension in the region has increased following the continued evictions of Palestinians from the Al Aqsa mosque by Israeli forces in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan.
Israel has drawn international condemnation after police intervened early Wednesday to violently evict Palestinian worshipers from mosques in Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site.
Since the beginning of Ramadan on March 22, dozens of Muslim worshipers have repeatedly attempted to spend the night at the Al Aqsa mosque, a practice generally permitted only during the last 10 days of Ramadan, and Israeli police have entered every night to evict the faithful.
Wednesday’s intervention, which left 350 detained, according to police, and 37 injured according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Movement, led to an escalation of rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli shelling. Since then the tension has not subsided.
A barrage of rockets has rained down on Israeli sites from southern Lebanon, breaking a fragile truce in the region for years.
And while Israel’s northern and southern borders had returned to calm, Thursday and Friday’s Israeli air response against Lebanon – which analysts called the most serious cross-border violence since the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanese rebel group Hezbollah – has threatened to take the confrontation over to a new stage.
The Israeli army said it had bolstered its infantry and artillery forces in a defensive move to “prepare for all possible scenarios”. A Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists, said Egyptian security forces were working with Hamas and Israel to defuse tensions.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.