5 killed as fresh attacks hit Tel Aviv and West Bank
A mass shooting at a West Bank settlement on Thursday afternoon reportedly left an Israeli settler, a Palestinian bystander and an American tourist dead, just hours after a separate stabbing killed two in Tel Aviv.
The incident in Tel Aviv in which one person was also seriously injured was the first to hit central Israel in over two-and-a-half weeks.
In the West Bank attack, a Palestinian suspect reportedly opened fire from a car in the Gush Etzion settlement, continued to drive and then rammed into another car before he was shot dead, Maan News Agency reported.
An 18-year-old American tourist was pronounced dead at the scene after efforts to resuscitate him failed, the Jerusalem Post reported.
A 50-year-old Israeli man later died at a Jerusalem hospital while a third victim, a 40-year-old Palestinian who was sitting in one of the cars which came under fire during the attack was also killed, according to local media.
A second suspect was arrested at the scene, according to Israeli police spokesperson Luba Samri, while a third fled the scene.
Palestinian sources however say that the suspect shot dead by Israeli forces had nothing to do with the attack and that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Earlier in Tel Aviv, a 36-year-old Palestinian, identified by Haaretz as Riad Mahmoud Al Masalma, allegedly stormed an office building with a knife, killing two Israelis - Reuven Aviram, 51, from Ramla and Aharon Yesayev, 32, of Holon.
A third person who has not been identified was reportedly in moderate condition late Thursday.
Masalma, who Israeli security forces say is from Hebron but had a work permit and was working at a local restaurant, was shot and moderately wounded at the scene. He is now in police custody.
A spokesperson for the Israeli police, Micky Rosenfeld, said Maslma had attempted to enter a synagogue inside a building to carry out the attack, but was prevented from doing so by bystanders.
Haaretz, however, reported that some of those attacked were in prayer when they were assaulted.
Police launched a search for a second suspect, but later confirmed that the attacker acted alone.
This is the first attack in Tel Aviv since 2 November when a 19-year-old Palestinian stabbed and wounded three Israelis by the central bus station. Two were severely wounded, while the third suffered light injuries.
Ahead of today's attacks, 12 Israelis, largely in stabbing attacks, and 89 Palestinians, including alleged assailants, have been killed since early October.