Five dead in Israel shooting

The attacker targeted ultra-Orthodox Jews in Bnei Brak, east of Tel Aviv

At least five people have been killed in a shooting in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak on Tuesday evening. Israeli authorities said the attacker was riding a motorcycle when he opened fire into the Haredi Jewish community.

Initial reports spoke of four people killed and one seriously injured, but it appears the fifth person has since succumbed to their wounds.

There were conflicting reports about the shooter, with some Israeli media outlets saying he had been “neutralized” and others reporting he was still on the run. According to Channel 13, he was shot and killed by a police officer in nearby Ramat Gan.

The outlet also identified the shooter as Dia’a Hassan Hamarshi, a 27-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank. Hamarshi reportedly served six months in prison in 2013 for membership in a terrorist organization – the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the militant wing of the Palestinian movement Fatah.

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Medics transport a victim into an ambulance after two people were killed by gunmen in Israel. © Ilia Yefimovich / Picture Alliance / Getty Images
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Shots were fired in at least two, possibly three, locations. Ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews make up a significant portion of Bnei Brak’s 200,000 or so residents. 

The Israeli authorities have yet to classify the Bnei Brak attack as terrorism, but the police have been on high alert since Monday, after two terrorist attacks for which Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) sympathizers claimed responsibility. 

On Sunday, terrorists who had recorded a pledge of allegiance to IS shot and killed two people in Hadera, a Mediterranean town halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

The jihadist group also claimed responsibility for last week’s car-ramming and stabbing attack in Beersheba, in which four Israelis were killed.

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