2 Israelites Dead, 8 wounded in a bloody shooting in popular Tel Aviv area

At least two people were killed and another eight wounded in a series of shootings in central Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service said it received reports of a shooting at “several scenes” around downtown Tel Aviv. At least one attack took place on Dizengoff Street, a central thoroughfare and popular weekend hangout.

Eli Levy, a police spokesman, told Israel’s Channel 13 several had been wounded in the shooting on Thursday and officers were at the scene. He urged people to avoid the area.

Two of the wounded died, The Times of Israel reported, citing officials at Ichilov Medical Center. The hospital was treating eight others.

The motive for the shooting was not immediately clear, but tensions have soared following recent attacks by Palestinians that killed 11 people in Israel.

On March 22, four Israelis were killed in a stabbing attack in Be’er Sheva.

Five days later, two border police officers were killed in a shooting attack in Hadera. On March 30, two Israelis, two Ukrainian nationals, and a police officer were killed in a shooting attack in Bnei Brak.

A woman reacts at the scene of the shooting attack In Tel Aviv on Thursday [Ariel Schalit/AP]

Reporting from West Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s John Holman said the area where the shooting occurred is “full of bars and cafes”.

“There would have been quite a few people out. Local media are reporting that there were two separate gunmen. This shooting took place in various locations. It does appear to be similar to an attack, rather than a criminal shooting,” said Holman.

“Israel has been sending more police, more security forces out onto the streets, and the prime minister said in the last week or so that anyone who has a gun licence should be carrying their weapon. This is a moment they have braced for, especially since it’s the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which often brings tensions in this part of the world.”

The last time such an attack happened on Dizengoff was in 2016 when two people were killed and several wounded in a shooting attack at a bar. The attacker was killed several days later after he escaped the scene.

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