Israeli police at the scene of shooting and ramming attack on the promenade beach of Tel Aviv, Israel 07 April 2023. EFE/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

1 Dead, 5 hurt in car-ramming attack in Tel Aviv after West Bank shooting

Jerusalem, Apr 7 (EFE).- One tourist was killed and at least five others injured Friday night when an Arab citizen of Israel rammed his car into pedestrians in Tel Aviv, authorities said.

An Italian man in his 30s was pronounced dead at the scene and five other people – identified as Italians and Britons – were taken to the hospital, the Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency service said.

Israeli police said that the attacker drove the vehicle onto a seaside promenade and struck two different sets of pedestrians before the car flipped over.

Israeli police remove the body of the driver at the scene of shooting and ramming attack in the promenade beach of Tel Aviv, Israel 07 April 2023.

At that point, according to the official statement, police officers responding to the incident noticed that the assailant was reaching for a gun and they fatally shot him.

Media outlets said that the attacker was a resident of the central Israeli town of Kfar Qasem who worked in Tel Aviv.

Earlier Friday, two Israeli women were killed and a third was seriously wounded in a suspected shooting in the northern West Bank.

An MDA spokesman said the incident near the town of Hamra was being investigated as a “terrorist attack,” the terminology used by Israel for attacks by Palestinians.

Preliminary reports from medical and army sources said the women were shot after their vehicle collided with a Palestinian car.

Israeli security personnel search the scene of a shooting attack at the Hamra junction in the Jordan Valley, 07 April 2023. EFE/EPA/ALAA BADARNEH

Military officials said that troops spotted “numerous bullet holes” in the women’s car.

Hours earlier, an Israeli soldier was reportedly injured in a shooting incident.

Friday’s attacks occurred in the context of escalating tensions between Israelis and Palestinians over the past several months, which have spiked again in recent days.

In the early hours of Friday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched airstrikes on targets in Gaza linked to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas after 34 rockets were fired into Israeli territory from Lebanon.

Flames and smoke rise after an Israeli air strike in Gaza, 07 April 2023. EFE-EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

“The strikes were carried out in response to Hamas’ security violations in recent days,” the IDF said, referring to previous rocket attacks from Gaza and Thursday major rocket barrage from Lebanon.

The Hezbollah militia controls the southern region of Lebanon, but media outlets reported that Palestinian armed groups operating from refugee camps there were behind Thursday’s attack from Lebanese soil.

On Friday, the IDF struck Hamas positions in south Lebanon.

The rockets from Gaza and Lebanon came in response to assaults by Israeli police on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli police stand guard as Palestinians walk towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, 07 April 2023. EFE/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

On successive days, Israeli police stormed the sanctuary, using tear gas and stun grenades against worshippers observing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

More than 30 people were injured and 350 others detained.

The escalating violence comes on the third Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – which this year coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover and Good Friday – a particularly tense day each year in Jerusalem that sees hundreds of thousands of Palestinians come to the Al-Aqsa mosque.

This week’s incidents are the latest in a wave of deadly violence in the region amid heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

Over 90 Palestinians have died this year in military operations, Palestinian-led attacks and clashes with Israeli troops, the deadliest start to the year in the West Bank since 2000, while at least 17 Israelis have died in 2023. EFE