Eyewitness at Tel Aviv Attack: 'I Saw the Terrorist Shoot Toward My Friend and Miss'

Eyewitness testimonies emerge as the primary source of intel

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

Two people were killed and seven more were wounded in a shooting attack on Thursday evening on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. One eyewitness reported that "The terrorist began shooting indiscriminately toward Ikla Bar [Dizengoff 148]. My friend was there, I saw him shoot in that direction, but the terrorist missed."

In the aftermath of the attack the road was lined with shocked onlookers. Every third person was on the phone, alerting loved ones of their whereabouts.

Approaching Ilka Bar, the site of the attack, more and more people could be seen running for safety. At this point, 9:20 PM., nobody knew how many had been injured or killed, nor the identity of the attacker. By 11 P.M. the attacker remained at large and the head of the Tel Aviv Police division, Ami Eshed, said that there were "indications" that this had been a terrorist attack.

"This is an active scene," police officers and rescue personnel pleaded with people at the scene: "Please distance yourselves, including those in nearby shops." In the heart of Tel Aviv, groups of officers scampered about with their weapons drawn. Not one succeeded in locating the terrorist.

In the absence of information, each eyewitness presented a valuable source of intel. Ran Shimon, a 31-year-old from Ramat Gan, said that he had been sitting at Ilka bar one other friend. "Out of the blue," he says, "my friend was standing some 15 feet behind me, and a man levels his gun and shoots. In that moment, I fell to the floor and started crawling toward the bar, and then the commotion broke out. People were on top of one another. We waited for the worst to pass." According to Shimon, he didn't see the shooter, only his shadow.

A witness who was present at two of the shooting sites told Haaretz: "I was sitting at Ilka bar with another friend when we suddenly heard shots and glass shatter. There was a mess, I started running and a lot of people came after me. We went into the side streets and I told everyone to go there.

"I called my friend who I thought was running after me but he didn't pick up. I looked up and saw someone standing in front of me, gun cocked. I immediately ran away and heard five shots. I didn’t look back, and he didn't say anything."

Mark Malpiev, a 27-year-old who was injured in the attack and taken to Ichilov hospital said, "I was sitting at the Tzina Bar when the shooting started. I saw the window shatter and started running. Suddenly everyone started running, and I felt that I had been hit in the back. I didn't know what has going on, I simply ran and saw a lot of blood."

"I ran to a smaller side street and then my friend saw that I was bleeding and laid me down. He ordered an ambulance. The neighbors helped me stop the bleeding until the ambulance arrived," he said.

The assailant is said to be wearing a black t-shirt and black pants and is likely armed with a pistol. The manhunt for the suspect is still ongoing.

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