Barak Lofan, 35, father of three from Givat Shmuel, died in hospital on Friday, April 8, of wounds he sustained in a shooting attack by a Palestinian terrorist from Jenin in the heart of Tel Aviv Thursday night. Two friends, Tomer Morad and Eytam Gini, 27, from Kfar Saba, were killed on the spot. Eight of the 14 injured victims remain in hospital. The terrorist, Raed Hazem, 28, from the Jenin refugee camp, evaded capture for 10 hours before he was found hiding near a mosque in Jaffa. He was shot dead in a gunfight. The conviction that more such attacks are on the way has placed security forces on top alert in Israel’s town centers and stepped up detentions in the Jenin area of northern Samaria.
The early investigation found that on the morning of the attack, the terrorist infiltrated through one of the breaches in the border fence – unhindered, although he carried a sidearm. A relative may have driven him across to the Arab town of Umm al Fahm. There, he caught a bus to Tel Aviv. He spent the day hiding in a mosque in Jaffa before heading off to Dizengoff in the evening when the bars and restaurants were filling up.
DEBKAfile reported earlier.
Police continued to scour streets and stairways of buildings in and around Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff St after a gunmen injured 14 victims on the bustling thoroughfare on Thursday night, April 7. Two died of their wounds and the rest are hospital with critical or serious injuries. Police stress the incident is still ongoing as the gunman is still at large and armed. Some witnesses say they saw several shooters. Residents of Dizengoff St, a bustling center of bars and restaurants, were told to stay home, lock their doors and stay back from windows. Curious crowds were moved away from the scene of the attacks. Public transport in central Tel Aviv was halted. Reinforcements continued to pour into the city, the hub of central Israel, including special forces, when the terrorist continued to evade police capture after shooting into bars and restaurants.
An initial police hypothesis is that this may have been a copycat attack following the multiple casualty terrorist outrages that claimed 11 lives last month in three main Israeli towns, Beersheba, Hadera and Bnei Brak.