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Tel Aviv mob beats Israeli driver mistaken for Palestinian attacker

Man died after a crowd of bystanders pulled him from a car after he reportedly had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed into a restaurant
Medics evacuate victims of an earlier attack on a Tel Aviv cafe (AFP)

Bystanders in Tel Aviv on Saturday night beat an unconscious man who had caused a crash at a restaurant, believing he was a Palestinian attacker. 

The man, who later died, is believed to have had a heart attack at the wheel, causing him to lose control of his car and crash at high speed into a busy Chinese restaurant in Tel Aviv’s Ben Yehuda street on Saturday night.

The crash killed two customers at the cafe, a man in his 40s and another in his 60s, and injured six others.

Immediately following the crash, bystanders pulled the unconscious driver from the car and began beating him, believing that he was a Palestinian who had driven into the restaurant on purpose, according to the restaurant owner’s wife.

“The restaurant was filled with white dust. At first, I thought it was maybe a terror attack,” Shosha San told Israel’s Channel 10 on Saturday night.

“They thought that the driver was not a good person, they beat him,” she said.

“He was unconscious.”

The incident comes less than two weeks after two Palestinian gunmen burst into a Tel Aviv cafe and fired indiscriminately, killing four Israelis.

A wave of violence between Israel and the Palestinians broke out last October and has since killed at least 207 Palestinians, 32 Israelis and two US citizens.

Most of the Palestinians have been killed after allegedly launching stabbing attacks targeting members of the Israeli security forces, while some have died during clashes in the West Bank.

An Eritrean national was also killed last October, after he was shot and beaten by a mob when he was mistaken for being a Palestinian attacker.