June 2016 Tel Aviv shooting

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June 2016 Tel Aviv shooting
Part of Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2015-present)
PikiWiki Israel 46147 Sarona Market.JPG
Sarona Market
Location Tel AvivIsrael
Date 8 June 2016
21:26 (IDT)
Attack type
Mass shooting
Weapons Homemade Carl Gustav submachine gun[1]
Deaths 4
Non-fatal injuries
7 civilians (+14 shock victims)[2]
1 suspect[3]
Perpetrators Khalid al-Mahmara andMuhammad Ahmad Moussa Mahmara[4]

On 8 June 2016, two Palestinian gunmen opened fire on patrons at the Max Brenner Cafe in the Sarona Market of Tel Aviv, killing four people and injuring seven others.




The perpetrators, cousins from Yatta in the West Bank, were reported missing to the Palestinian Security Services two days before the attack. This did not arouse suspicion since such notifications to the authorities are received every day, and the time interval of their absence was short.[5] They are believed to have entered into Israel through a hole in the Israeli West Bank barrier, between the sections of Tarqumiyah and Meitar.[6] They were equipped with what appeared to be a locally made "Carl Gustav" submachine gun to carry out the attack.[7]

At 21:04 (UTC+3), on 8 June 2016, two perpetrators dressed in suits and ties arrived at the Max Brenner Cafe in the Sarona Market complex near HaArba'a Street in Tel Aviv. They inspected the area and then sat down on chairs outside, ordering desserts. At 21:27 the perpetrators stood up and fired at the diners until one of the perpetrators' firearmsjammed. He slammed the firearm on the floor and the perpetrators started to run away from the site.[8][9][10] The perpetrators wounded 11 people. Four were critically wounded, and later succumbed to their wounds. Two others were in severe condition, two in moderate condition and four in light condition. An additional 14 people suffering from symptoms of stress received medical attention at the scene and at the hospitals.[2] After the perpetrators fled they split up, and at 21:40, one of the perpetrators was wounded and neutralized after a gunfight with a civil guard of Kol Yisrael[8] and was taken to Ichilov Hospital in serious condition.[10] The other unarmed perpetrator ran in a nearby street, near the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. He met a policeman and asked him for a glass of water and the unsuspecting policeman invited him into his home with his family. The man, who was a cop then rushed to the scene of the attack, leaving the perpetrator in his home. The family tried to speak to the perpetrator but he didn't respond and was stressed. The wife of the policeman said she didn't suspect anything and that she thought he was a man who ran from the attack. When the policeman saw the other perpetrator was dressed just like the man he invited into his home, he rushed back to his home and captured the perpetrator who tried to escape.[11][12] While arresting him, one of the policemen called in to help entered the home with his weapon drawn. When he saw that the perpetrator was already captured, he returned his weapon to its sheath, at which point it discharged a bullet and one of the policemen was wounded from shrapnel.[12]


Four Israeli citizens were killed as a result of the attack. The victims are:[13]

  • Ido Ben-Ari, 42, from Ramat Gan,[14] was a father of two, whose wife was also injured during the attack. A former Sayeret Matkal commando, he worked in a senior position atCoca Cola's Israel branch.[15][16]
  • Mila Mishayev, 32, from Rishon LeZion, was shot in the leg, but was able to call her fiancé to tell him what happened before passing away from the blood loss.[17]
  • Ilana Naveh, 39, from Tel Aviv, a mother of four[18]
  • Michael Feige, 58, from Ramat Gan, a Professor at Beersheba's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev who specialized in anthropology and sociology.[15][19]


The perpetrators, cousins of the Mahmara family from the town of Yatta in the Hebron area in the West Bank, both 21,[5] did not have any previous criminal record[20] and were arrested by the police following the attack.[21] A potential collaborator was later arrested in Yatta.[22] Police also raided workshops where they believe the guns may have been made.[23]

Khalid al-Muhamra is a Hamas member who studied at the Al-Karak Jordanian military academy, and arrived for Ramadan vacation.[24] His peers said he was an electrical engineering honors student and came from a family associated with Fatah.[25] Muhammad Ahmad Moussa Mahmara was not identified as a member of any group.[26] Hamas said both perpetrators had were its members.[4] The father of one perpetrator stated he was surprised by his son's actions.[27] The perpetrators' uncle, Taleb Mahmara, was a member of the militant Tanzim faction of Fatah. He participated in an attack that killed four Israelis south of Hebron in 2002. Taleb is today imprisoned in Israel and his house was demolished after he was arrested.[5]


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said some 83,000 Palestinian entry permits to visit families in Israel for the Ramadan were suspended following the attack,[28] a move that was described as "collective punishment" by Knesset member Haneen Zoabi and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.[29][30] The IDF imposed a closure over the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the wake of the attack, which was scheduled to end on 11 June after the end of Jewish holiday of Shavuot. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories decided to allow movement in and out of the territories for humanitarian and medical reasons, as well as to allow worshippers to enter Al-Aqsa mosque for Friday prayers[31] except for residents of the Gaza Strip.[28]Lieberman also ordered to halt the practice of returning bodies of other perpetrators of other recent attacks. Erdan proposed to re-establish a cemetery used by Israel during theSecond Intifada to bury Palestinian assailants instead of transferring their bodies to their families, an offer Lieberman reportedly supported. Lieberman also demanded to demolish the houses of the perpetrators in 24 hours but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said "Israel was governed by the rule of law and that due process took longer than that."[32] The US State department urged Israel to ensure that "any measures it takes are designed to also take into consideration the impact on Palestinian citizens that are trying to go about their daily lives."[33]

The IDF said it will send hundreds of soldiers to the West Bank[29] and blocked all entrances to the town of Yatta, raided one of the perpetrators' home, searched the house and interrogated his family members and mapped out one of perpetrators' houses to prepare it for demolition.[5] The blockade of Yatta is the first such action by Israel since theItamar attack in 2011 and Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai said it is an "effect" of Lieberman's recent appointment as defense minister.[34]


Journalists set up outside of the Max Brenner cafe in Sarona Market, following a shooting in June, 2016
A makeshift monument in memorial of the victims at the site of the attack


  • Early the next morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Public Security MinisterGilad Erdan visited the scene of the attack, and Netanyahu vowed to respond.[35][36]
  • Ayman Odeh (Hadash), head of the Joint List representing Israel's combined Arab parties, responded to the attack saying: "I condemn and feel the pain of the terrible blow to civilians”, continuing by blaming the Israeli government for the "cycle of terror and bloodshed", "we must fight together to bring an end to the occupation and do the right thing for justice and peace for both peoples.” [37]
  • Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, when asked on Army Radio how peace was possible when Palestinians celebrated the killings by distributing candy, implicated the occupation of the Palestinian territories: “There has been an occupation for 49 years, which I was part of and I know the reality, and I know leaders need courage to not just talk", "We have to show our neighbors that we have true intentions to return to a reality of a smaller Jewish State with a clear Jewish majority." Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan criticized Huldai's statement, "I want to remind him that there was terrorism here 100 years ago, and in 1929 Jews were murdered [1929 Hebron massacre] and there was no State of Israel. There wasn’t even an 'occupation'."[37]


  •  Palestinian National Authority: The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah Party) issued a statement saying the Palestinian presidency "reaffirms its rejection of all operations that target civilians from any background regardless of the justifications."[38]
  •  Fatah, the leading party of the Palestinian Authority and the party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that the Tel Aviv shooting was an "individual and natural response" to Israeli state violence. The media committee head Munir al-Jaghoub said: "Israel must realize the consequences of its persistence to push violence, house demolition policies, forced displacement of Palestinians, raids by Israeli settlers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and the cold-blooded killing of Palestinians at checkpoints."[39]
  •  Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Daoud Shihab, said Wednesday night that "the attacks tonight revealed the fragility of Israeli security. These are natural reactions to the crimes of the occupation."[40]
  •  Hamas has praised the attack, releasing a cartoon depicting the attack as a Ramadan treat and suggested more attacks are likely to occur during Ramadan.[41] Fireworks were set off in Gaza and Hebron in celebration of the attack.[42] The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, issued a statement of shock in response to Hamas' reaction.[43] Initially Hamas claimed that both perpetrators had been Hamas members[44]
  • Some Arab citizens in East Jerusalem and Tulkarm started to celebrate the event by handing out candies, while in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem dozens of Palestinians participated in a march praising the attack.[45][46] Jpost reported that Salma al-Jamal, a Palestinian news anchor working at Al-Jazeera TV, wrote on Twitter: "The Ramadan operation is the best answer to stories about 'peace process'." [45]
  •  Hezbollah praised the attack, calling the gunmen heroic.[47]



  •  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon UN issued a statement condemning Hamas's celebration saying he was "shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some have chosen to celebrate it."[3]
  •  United Nations Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said on Twitter he was "Shocked to see Hamas welcomes Tel Aviv terror attack. Leaders must stand against violence and the incitement that fuels it, not condone it."[48]
  •  United Nations U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein condemned the attack, but also criticized Israel's withdrawal for thousands of Palestinians entry permits which may amount to collective punishment, banned under international law.[30]
  •  European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini condemned the attack.[49]


  •  Canada’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement online: "Canada shocked by terror attack in Tel Aviv. Our thoughts are with victims & families and we are monitoring the situation."[48]
  •  Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement "Murder and terror are completely without justification and cannot be used as an instrument of political disagreement"[50]
  •  France's President Francois Hollande condemned "with the greatest strength the odious attack" and expressed France’s "support for Israel in the fight against terrorism."[51]
  •  Spain condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms" through a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed Spain's "deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to all the people and authorities of Israel", while conveying its "best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to those injured". The statement also recalled Spain's "full support for Israel in its efforts to guarantee the safety of its citizens from the threat of terrorism".[52]
  •  United Kingdom ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, condemned the incident stating there is "no possible justification for terrorism."[53] British Prime Minister David Cameron said on his Twitter account: "I am sickened by the appalling attack in Tel Aviv. We stand with Israel against terrorism and my thoughts are with the victims and families."[54]
  •  United States State Department, condemned the shooting, called it a "horrific terrorist attack."[55] The department also urged Israel not to use collective punishments against Palestinians.[56] Democratic presidential presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton stated that she stands with Israel, and emphasized her unwavering support.[57]Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump condemned the attack and "the culture of religious hatred that permeates many Palestinian quarters."[58]
  •  Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "There are no and can be no justifications of such terrorist acts that seriously complicate a rather difficult atmosphere in the region and obstruct efforts on achieving a fair and stable settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."[59]

Non-recognized states[edit]

  •  Kosovo President, Hashim Thaçi said "I am appalled by the horrific attack in Tel Aviv. Kosovo stands with Israel. Our thoughts are with the victims and families"[60]

Reporting controversies[edit]

Several Israeli newspapers accused news outlets such as MSNBCCNN, the BBC of having omitted key facts about the story, such as the Palestinian identity of the perpetrators and some were accused for having given credence to arguments justifying the attack. CNN was criticised by Twitter users for putting the word terrorists in quotation marks, alleginging that CNN was calling into question whether or not the attackers were terrorists through its use of quotation marks. CNN later changed the report, saying "As a result of an editing mistake, an earlier version of this story appeared to call into question whether the Tel Aviv attack was an act of terrorism. It undoubtedly was. The story was corrected."[61] The BBC was criticised for not mentioning the Palestinian nationality of the perpetrators and Russia Today reported that "two ultra-Orthodox Jewish" gunmen carried out the attack and although the gunmen were dressed in black suits which led the suspection the disguised themselves as Orthodox Jews, the theory was later discounted.[62] The Guardian and the The Telegraph were criticised for referring to the attack as "shooting incidents".[63] The Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post also criticized MSNBC reporter Ayman Mohyeldin for going "on a rambling, 35 second stream of conscious in which he managed to squeeze in four mentions of 'the occupation' and three mentions of Israeli politics 'shifting to the right' or the 'extreme right,' while talking of Palestinian 'frustration' and Israeli oppression."[64][65]

See also[edit]


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