(JTA) — A driver rammed his car into pedestrians walking along Tel Aviv’s popular boardwalk and emerged shooting, killing a tourist and wounding at least four others on Friday night. A policeman shot and killed the attacker.
The attack, just hours after gunmen killed two Israeli sisters traveling through the West Bank, left Israel bracing for further violence after days of buildup.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a call up of all Border Police reserves and also asked the army to call up additional reserves. The attacker was reportedly an Israeli citizen and a resident of Kafr Qassem, an Arab town near Tel Aviv.
Israeli media said the attacker steered his car onto the boardwalk near Charles Clore Park and aimed at two sets of pedestrians, one after the other. The car overturned, and the attacker got out of the car armed with a gun and started shooting.
One man, an Italian tourist, was killed, and at least four others, tourists from Italy and Britain, were wounded from being hit by the car and from bullet wounds, Kan reported.
Hamas, the militant Gaza Strip group considered a terrorist organization by the United States, praised the attack but did not claim responsibility.
The boardwalk, a popular site for Israelis on a Friday night, was crowded. The motive and identity of the attacker was not yet known.
Israeli-Palestinian tensions, already simmering after months of clashes between Israeli police and West Bank residents, reached a boiling point this week after police clashed with Palestinian protesters on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a site holy both to Muslims and Jews. On Thursday, rockets were fired into Israel from two fronts, the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, and Israel returned fire. PJC