Four people have been killed and 16 people have been wounded in a terror attack at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv in a terror attack. Two alleged terrorists have been neutralized at the scene. One of the terrorists have died, the other is being treated in the hospital in critical condition.
Idan Ben-Aryeh, 42, from Ramat Gan; Ilana Nave, 39, from Tel Aviv; Dr. Michael Feige, 58 from Midreshet Ben-Gurion; and Mila Mishayev, 32, from Rishon Lezion.
Multiple shots were heard at the open-air shopping center in the heart of Tel Aviv, adjacent to IDF and Ministry of Defense headquarters, the Kirya. Magen David Adom (MDA) arrived at the scene and declared multiple wounded, and their paramedics evacuated wounded persons to Ichilov and Tel Hashomer Medical Centers.
Of the 16 wounded, four died, and three are still in the hospital.
The terrorists, two cousins from Yatta in the Hebron area, sat at the popular restaurant Max Brenner before they set out on their shooting spree. They wore suits and ordered food before they set out killing indiscriminately.
The restaurant’s manager said, “I was sitting in the restaurant, and they got up and started shooting. Before that, they had ordered someting to eat and acted like any other customer…They had bags with them; they didn’t shout anything, just took out their weapons and started shooting.”
One of the terrorists shot with an improvised weapon that he left behind when he fled, though he was soon shot. The Israel Police and Shin Bet immediately took him for questioning.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed at Ben Gurion International Airport, returning from his visit to Russia, and he proceeded immediately to the Kirya to hold a security meeting.
Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman was in his office a the Kirya at the time of the attack and has been kept up to date with updates.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai commented on the incident, “It was a hard night in Tel Aviv. There was another attack in which terrorists, who were apparently sitting at a coffee shop, hid their weapons and then started firing indiscriminately.
“We ask the public to remain calm. We in Tel Aviv are a target of terrorism, and they are trying to disrupt our lives. We will continue to enjoy living in the city, and terrorism will not make us surrender. I ask everyone to return to their daily routine tomorrow.”
Tomer, who came to Sarona to enjoy the evening, said, “We were sitting outside and a round of bullets (were fired). Everyone started running. This is not like a normal terror attack. The shots were fired for at least a minute. There was a large panic, and we were asked to go inside the building. They held and kept us (there), and then they came to check that we were okay. We are waiting for them to open the roads so that we can leave. We have not seen such a thing in a long time.”
A young woman who was hiding in a store until now, said, “I was sitting near Max Brenner and I saw shots fired. They were fired incessantly in all directions. I ran to the Super-Pharm and (the assailant) then ran toward me. I was then told to hide and I tried to escape.”
The Israel Police announced at around 10:20pm, “As of now, the public can return to their daily routine; however, they are requested to employ high vigilance and call the police at 100 to report any suspicious event.”
Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Danny Danon called on the secretary general and the security council, “Definitively condemn murderous Palestinian terrorism.”
Eli Senyor, Sharon Salmon, Noam (Dabul) Dvir, Itay Blumental, Reut Rimmerman, and Moran Azulay contributed to this report.
The two terrorists, who wearing suits, white shirts, and ties, and sitting in the popular dessert restaurant ‘Max Brenner’ at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, never raised anyone’s suspicion.
Dozens of diners in the restaurant, who never gave them a second glance, were shocked when the two terrorists suddenly got up from their tables and opened fire, shooting in all directions, claiming four lives and wounding 16.
“I was sitting in the restaurant and they were acting like regular customers, ” recalled the Max Brenner branch manager. “They had bags and they ordered something to eat. Suddenly they pulled guns out and started firing. They didn’t shout anything. The two of them simply took the guns out and opened fire.”
Idan Ben-Ari, 42, from Ramat Gan; Ilana Nave, 39, from Tel Aviv; Dr. Michael Feige, 58 from Ramat Gan; and Mila Mishayev, 32, from Rishon Lezion.
Initial reports indicated that the two were dressed as ultra-Orthodox Jews. However, eye-witnesses said that the terrorists were dressed formally, wearing suits, ties, white shirts and black pants. “They didn’t look like ultra-Orthodox people, more like lawyers, ” recalled Yosef Jibrin, who works as a barman in Max Brenner.
“When the shooting began people tried to flee into our kitchen. I also fled and then I returned to the restaurant to see if there were any more people. I saw wounded people on the floor and helped one of them until a paramedic arrived.”
Anna, who witnessed the attack also recounted the macabre turmoil: “They simply left the restaurant and started firing in all directions, inside the restaurant and outside.”
“There was blood on the floor. I saw wounded people and also the terrorist. I ran from the scene and hid. I found a shop and went into it. Everyone was on the floor.”
Josian Tobias Will, 66, was sitting with her friends at the Fushun coffee shop adjacent to the scene of the attack. “I saw through the window people running in panic, ” she recalled. “I didn’t understand what happened and then I heard the shooting. We threw ourselves onto the floor in panic. After a few seconds someone said ‘come into the kitchen, ’ so my friends and I went in. People started calling (their friends and family) like crazy and in panic. Ten minutes later the manager of the place took us out and said that they thought the terrorists were in the building. We went into the yard and waited another hour for the police. It was chaotic and there a lot of rumors.”
Another eyewitness nearby described the relentless shooting and how she narrowly escaped a deadly encounter. “I ran to Super-Pharm (pharmacy) and the terrorist began running in my direction, ” she said. “They told us to hide and I tried to escape. I saw someone who had been shot in the chest lying on the ground and next to him was a woman who woman screaming. I tried to calm her down and then the police and paramedics arrived.”
Meanwhile, Palestinians barely waited an hour to begin their celebrations of the terror attack on Sarona Market.
In the West Bank city of Tulkarem, Palestinians were handing out Baklava, cookies, and other sweets while in Hebron, Palestinian residents set off fireworks to celebrate the attacks.
Hamas sent a message Wednesday night saying “these acts of bravery in Tel Aviv are the first signs of Ramadan, and the first surprise waiting in store for the Zionist enemy this Ramadan.”
A high ranking Hamas official in Gaza, Mushir al-Masri, said that the attack was “a natural reaction to Israeli crimes.”
A spokesperson for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Daoud Shihab, said Wednesday night that “the attacks tonight revealed the fragility of Israeli security. These are natural reactions to the crimes of the occupation.”