Israel suspends Palestinian permits as four die in Tel Aviv attack
Two cousins detained after opening fire in crowded shopping centre, say officials
Israel has suspended entry permits for more than 80,000 Palestinians after four people were killed and several others were injured by two gunmen in a crowded open-air shopping centre in central Tel Aviv.
Officials say the attackers were Palestinian cousins from the village of Yatta, south of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. They are now in custody, with one of them being treated for gunshot wounds.
"Dressed in black suits, the two men sat down and ordered food, according to witnesses, before embarking on a shooting rampage," the New York Times says.
Surveillance footage revealed scenes of chaos as panicked customers rushed to escape the gunfire. Eyewitnesses claim the attackers were dressed as Hasidic Jews.
"We in Tel Aviv have for years been a target of terrorism. No terrorism will defeat us," said city Mayor Ron Huldai.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "We will take the necessary steps to attack the attackers and defend those who need to be defended."
Tel Aviv has suffered a number of deadly assaults since last October, leading to the deaths of two dozen Israelis and two US visitors, mostly killed in stabbings, says the NYT.
Since the beginning of the year, Israeli forces have shot dead nearly 200 Palestinians, notes Al Jazeera.
"Tensions over Jewish access to a volatile and contested Jerusalem holy site, revered by Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and Jews as Temple Mount, have fuelled the violence," it adds.