TEL AVIV (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Israeli military says it will deploy two additional battalions in the West Bank in response to Wednesday’s deadly shooting in Tel Aviv.
In a statement, the military said Thursday the reinforcements were made “in accordance with situation assessments.”
The military says forces would include infantry and elite reconnaissance units. The military says the deployment included “hundreds” of troops, but gave no further details.
Wednesday’s shooting occurred at the Sarona market, a series of restored buildings that have been transformed into a popular tourist spot filled with crowded shops and restaurants. The complex is across the street from Israel’s military headquarters and is often filled with tourists and young soldiers in uniform.
The gunmen went into the mall and started shooting, apparently opening fire at a number of locations, CBS Radio News’ Robert Berger reported.
Surveillance cameras caught people scrambling as the two Palestinian gunmen calmly and systematically took down their targets Wednesday night, CBS’ John Vigliotti reported.
“I start hearing shooting, like seven shots — bam, bam, bam — and then I leave everything and start running out,” one witness said.
Police responded quickly, shooting one of the gunmen and capturing the other a few blocks away.
Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital said four slain Israelis had been brought to the facility in critical condition and later died of their wounds.
“From the 10 patients that we have accepted, four are dead. Four others have moderate to severe wounds, but they are stable and there’s no danger for their lives and two are in a very decent situation,” Gil Fire of the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the scene and called the killings – “cold blooded murder by despicable terrorists.”
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, welcomed the attack but did not claim responsibility for it, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported. Hamas official Mushir al-Masri called the shootings a “heroic operation” and the group later issued an official statement promising the “Zionists” more “surprises” during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Authorities say the attackers are cousins from the West Bank, CBS reports.
The Israeli military said it has revoked all permits for Palestinians to visit Israel and travel abroad during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in response to the attack. COGAT, an Israeli defense body, said Thursday that all 83,000 permits have been frozen for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to visit family in Israel, attend Ramadan prayers in Jerusalem or travel abroad via Israel’s Tel Aviv airport.
In addition, the military says it has frozen Israeli work permits for 204 of the attackers’ relatives, and is preventing Palestinians from leaving and entering the West Bank village of Yatta, home to the attackers.
COGAT says entering or leaving will only be permitted for humanitarian and medical cases.
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