Palestinian gunman kills Israeli, shot dead in Tel Aviv
A Palestinian gunman killed an Israeli municipal officer in commercial hub Tel Aviv on Saturday, before being fatally shot by another officer, authorities said.
The attack came amid a surge in violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a day after a 19-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.
Tel Aviv police said a gunman opened fire at a municipal inspector in the city centre, who according to the Magen David Adom emergency service was taken to hospital “in critical condition” and later pronounced dead.
The Ichilov hospital in the city said Hen Amir, 42, “was killed while preventing with his own body a major attack, saving many lives in his death”.
Police earlier said that “another municipal inspector responded swiftly” to the shooting and moved to “neutralise the terrorist”.
The Palestinian assailant was taken to the same hospital, where officials later pronounced him dead.
Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service identified the gunman as Kamal Abu Bahar, 22, originally from the Jenin area, the site of frequent violence in the northern West Bank.
The Shin Bet claimed Abu Bahar was a sympathizer of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which Israel deems a terrorist organization.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
A spokesman for Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the blockaded Gaza Strip, said the attack was “a response to the crimes of the occupation and settlers against our people”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to the “vigilance” of municipal officers which had helped “avert a far more serious attack”.
Violence this year linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has killed at least 208 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, one Ukrainian and one Italian, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on both sides.
They include, on the Palestinian side, combatants as well as civilians and, on the Israeli side, three members of the Arab minority.
©️ Agence France-Presse