Bennett Says Tel Aviv Terrorist Had Accomplices, Vows They Will Pay a Heavy Price

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemns attack, calls for calm and stability ■ Defense Minister Benny Gantz demands that 'alongside the [Palestinian] condemnations actions will be taken against terrorists'

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
People light candles in memory of the victims in central Tel Aviv on Friday, where two Israelis were killed Thursday.
People light candles in memory of the victims in central Tel Aviv on Friday, where two Israelis were killed Thursday.Credit: Hadas Parush
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Friday that the assailant who had carried out Thursday's terror attack in Tel Aviv had accomplices, and pledged that they would "pay a heavy price."

Bennett commended police and military forces on the attacker's killing and warned "Every killer must know that we'll get to him, and anyone who helps terrorists should know that the price to pay will be unbearable."

"The event in Tel Aviv is over, but we are not lowering our level of alertness, inside Tel Aviv or in other parts of the country," he added.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' denunciation of the attack, said he demands that "alongside the condemnations there will be actions against the perpetrators of terrorism."

"The IDF, the Shin Bet, and the Israel Police will continue to act with great force against terrorism," he added. "We have already made 200 arrests, if needed we will make thousands."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev, on Friday.Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/Government Press Office

The statements came during a nationwide address from the military's headquarters in Tel Aviv held by the prime minister, Gantz and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev.

The shooting in Tel Aviv was the latest in a string of deadly terror attacks that have killed 13 Israelis in the last two weeks.

On Thursday evening, a Palestinian gunman from the northern West Bank town of Jenin killed two and wounded ten others at a bar on a crowded street in Tel Aviv. Following an extensive manhunt, Israeli security forces located and killed him early Friday morning in Jaffa.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a situation assessment that he had ordered an investigation into individuals associated with the attacker, as well as a blockade of traffic flowing in and out of the shooter's hometown of Jenin. This comes as tens of thousands of Palestinian worshipers are expected to travel from the West Bank into Jerusalem for the first Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan.

Security forces at the site of the terror attack on Thursday.Credit: Hadas Parush

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel would broaden its operations against the "wave of terror" and that the attackers and those who send them would pay a "heavy price."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack and said that the killing of Palestinian and Israeli citizens leads to escalation of the conflict while all parties wish to see calm and stability.

Abbas stressed the dangers of "continuing the repeated incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque and the provocative actions of extremist settler groups", the Palestinian WAFA news agency reported, referring to the third-holiest site in Islam.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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