Eight people were injured in a car-ramming and stabbing terror attack in northern Tel Aviv on Tuesday praised as a “heroic operation” by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist militant organization.
The attacker, a 20-year-old Palestinian from the occupied West Bank, used a pick-up truck to indiscriminately target pedestrians on a sidewalk in the Israeli city before exiting the vehicle and proceeding to stab other civilians in the vicinity before being neutralized by an armed civilian, according to the Times of Israel.
Israeli paramedics confirmed on Tuesday afternoon at least four people were seriously injured in the attack and have been hospitalized at the nearby Ichilov and Beilinson facilities.
CCTV footage from a nearby café showed the attacker shortly after leaving the vehicle, chasing civilians including children down the sidewalk with a large blade.
Prior to the above footage, Reuters reported how the driver mounted his pick-up truck onto the sidewalk striking down two pedestrians and exited the vehicle through the window to continue his rampage on assuming civilians frequenting a shopping mall in the city.
A statement from Hamas claimed the attack was a response to an ongoing Israeli military operation in the West Bank town of Jenin, described as “counter-terrorism activities” by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) which resulted in the death of ten Palestinians over the weekend.
“This heroic (Tel Aviv) operation is an act of self-defense in the face of the ongoing Zionist massacre in Jenin, the crimes of displacement, killing and destruction executed by occupation forces,” a statement from the militant organization read.
Hamas is listed as a proscribed terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted on Monday that the Israeli military had “eliminated terrorists in the heart of Jenin as part of an extensive IDF operation against terrorism.”
Hamas later claimed the Tel Aviv terror attack was carried out by Hussein Khalaylah, whom they claimed was one of its members. However, Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, named the attacker as Abed al-Wahab Khalaila from the West Bank town of as-Samu.
Israeli intelligence confirmed the terrorist had entered Israeli territory illegally but had no known prior security offenses.