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2 Israelis killed, 7 injured in Tel Aviv shooting

Jan. 1, 2016 3:19 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 8, 2016 1:54 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) -- A shooting was carried out Friday near a Tel Aviv pub killing two Israelis and injuring seven, Israeli police and medics said.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that the shooter opened fire on Dizengoff street before fleeing the scene.

Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said in initial reports that paramedics arrived to the scene and treated nine victims. Al-Samri confirmed that two were killed and medics reported the injured to include two in severe condition and five in moderate condition.

Israeli media reported that some of those injured were hit by broken glass that shattered when the attacker opened fire.

Al-Samri said that all injured were taken to Tel Aviv-area hospitals for treatment. Police were combing the area for the suspect and investigations were ongoing following the attack.

The suspect was identified as Mohammed Melhem, 29, a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the northern town of Arara. The spokesperson said that background information had yet to be gathered on the attack, and the Tel Aviv Municipality told Israeli media that it was not yet clear if the incident was a suspected "terror attack" or criminally motivated.

Video footage from a surveillance camera shows a man shopping in a grocery on the street of the attack before grabbing a gun out of his backpack and opening fire outside the store.

The family of the suspect told Israeli daily Haaretz that his cousin had been killed by Israeli Border Police after which he suffered from depression before attacking a soldier with a screwdriver in 2007, reportedly in revenge for his cousins death. 

The suspect also served jail time for attempting to steal a gun from an Israeli soldier, as well as drug possession.

The suspected attack marks the first in the coastal city since Nov. 19 when two Israelis were stabbed and killed near Tel Aviv's Panorama building by a Palestinian from the Hebron-area village of Dura in the occupied West Bank.

Photo credit: Israeli police

Photo credit: Israeli police
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