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Hamas welcomes “heroic” Tel Aviv terror attack

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The terror organisation Hamas has been quick to praise yesterday evening’s deadly terror shooting in Tel Aviv and threatened that further attacks would soon follow.

Two Palestinian men from the West Bank village of Yatta, near Hebron opened fire in a popular Tel Aviv entertainment complex, killing four people and wounding 13. Both attackers were apprehended and one is being treated for injuries in a Tel Aviv hospital.

Late last night, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the scene of the attack, following a consultation with defence and security officials. He said: “We’re in the middle of a complex period. We will act decisively and intelligently.”

Meanwhile, Hamas’ leader in the Gaza Strip Ismael Haniyeh posted a picture of one of the attackers via social media with the accompanying comment: “this is one of the heroes of the Tel Aviv operation. Mercy on his soul”. An official Hamas statement threatened continued terrorism. It read: “The act of heroism in Tel Aviv is a sign heralding the holy month, the first of the surprises that await the Zionist enemy over the course of Ramadan.”

The Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said that Israel is “reaping the repercussions of choosing violence against the Palestinian people”.

United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the shooting and said he was “shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some have chosen to celebrate it”.

Meanwhile, a statement from the US State Department said: “The United States condemns today’s horrific terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the strongest possible terms.” The statement went on to call it “cowardly” and “horrific.”

The IDF said that Israeli troops had already entered Yatta, where the attackers lived, and were interviewing residents, most likely the family of the attackers. Some reports indicate that movement in and out of the village has been restricted. Meanwhile, in light of yesterday’s attack, many of the relaxations on travel restrictions for Palestinians during Ramadan, have now been frozen.