Video grab of terrorist firing into a crowd in Tel Aviv (Photo: @JoeTruzman - Twitter)

Terrorists chose a day that saw more massive protests against the Netanyahu government's Judicial Reform to attack Israelis, who more than likely support a Palestinian state. Hamas ultimately took credit for the attack, issuing a statement indicating this was but the first of many attacks. And as usual, they were handing out candy and celebrating in Palestinian cities as another martyr made the nation proud by attacking innocent and peaceful civilians who were Jewish.

Two Israelis in their 20s were injured in a shooting attack that took place Thursday near a cafe on Dizengoff Street at the corner of Ben Gurion Avenue in Tel Aviv. The terrorist who carried out the shooting was killed at the scene of the attack, although it is suspected others were involved and an investigation into that is underway. The attacker was stopped when an Israel Defense Forces soldier, who was not on duty but carrying his weapon, shot and killed him. "I have been with a weapon for 30 years, I acted without fear, I wanted to catch him," said the soldier.

Spokesman Zachi Heller from Israel’s emergency services Magen David Adom (MaDA) said: "The forces have already transported three wounded to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. These are three young men in their 20s, they were found in the street a few tens of meters from each other. One was evacuated unconscious, the other two were conscious while they were on route. Initial details indicate that the terrorist is Mu'tez Khawaja, a 23-year-old resident of the village of Ne’ilin, north of Modi'in Illit. Khawaja is a Hamas operative who has been in Israeli prison twice.

A spokesperson for Ichilov Hospital said: "So far, three injured people have arrived at the trauma room of the Ichilov Medical Center - Tel Aviv. One injured person arrived from a shot in the neck during resuscitation efforts and is now in the operating room in critical condition. Another injured person is in moderate condition suffering from a gunshot to his upper body and will go in the next few minutes to the operating room. Another wounded person is suffering from shrapnel, is in a light condition and is receiving treatment."

Tel Aviv district commander Ami Ashad said: "As part of handling the protests, we are engaged in ongoing security activities based on the fundamental assumption that in such events there will be some who will try to harm. On such an evening, while attending to the protest, a (Palestinian) terrorist arrived at Dizengoff 71, fired at three people wounding them and fled the scene. Policemen who were on the scene tried to subdue him and ended up eliminating him. We investigated to try and locate additional terrorists and we are still reviewing the intelligence to see if he acted alone. It is a difficult evening, I ask everyone to be patient, as of now all the protests have dispersed."

Ashad also added that "we are trying to figure out who brought the terrorist (to Tel Aviv). There was no (intelligence reports indicating) a threat against Tel Aviv, but it is a city with the potential for terrorist attacks, so we are typically prepared and accordingly today we had an extra presence for the demonstrations."

A senior medic from the MDA's motorcycle unit, Eran Nadler, noted: "When I arrived at the scene, I saw two injured people lying on the sidewalk, one of them unconscious. I immediately began to provide them with medical treatment when at the same time a report was received of another wounded person in one of the nearby businesses. Together with large MDA forces that quickly arrived at the scene, we gave the three injured people life-saving medical treatment and quickly evacuated them to the hospital, with one in critical condition, the second in serious condition, and the third in mild condition."

From Italy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the attack: "As you know, there was a very serious attack in Tel Aviv. I want to send my best wishes for recovery to the injured in my name and that of my wife. We are ramping up security force efforts against the terrorists. I am sure that these events will not let up like this from our actions for the sake of building the country."

Police Commissioner Chief Superintendent Yaakov (Kobi) Shabtai said: "It was a serious attack. I wish a speedy recovery and good health to the injured, and at the same time I would like to praise the activity of the police officers who sought to prevent more shootings, and in their pursuit of the suspect, prevent harm to more civilians and a more serious attack.

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