TEL AVIV—Israel clamped down on Palestinian movements and boosted security Thursday after two Palestinians shot dead four people at a popular Tel Aviv nightspot, the deadliest attack in a months-long wave of violence.
Surveillance video seemingly from the moment of the attack that spread online showed the two men, dressed in black suits and ties, calmly walking into a cafe before pulling out guns and opening fire on its terrace.
Most of the patrons fled in panic, though some fought back at the cafe at Sarona Market in Israel’s commercial capital.
At one point, one of the attackers violently threw a handgun to the ground in frustration as two of the victims lay motionless on the terrace.
Five people were wounded in addition to the four killed.
With the attack causing shock among Israelis, officials said they were suspending entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in a move that was likely to further stoke tensions.
Those killed were all Israelis, identified as Ido Ben Aryeh, 42; Ilana Nave, 39; Michael Feige, 58; and Mila Mishayev, 32, police said.
Police said one of the attackers was arrested, while the other was wounded by gunfire and had undergone surgery.
They were identified as Khaled Mohammad Makhamrah, 22, and his cousin Mohamad Ahmad Makhamrah, 21, both from the Hebron area in the occupied West Bank.
The market and complex of bars and restaurants is located across the street from Israel’s defence ministry and main army headquarters.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the scene of what he called the “cold-blooded terrorist murder” after returning from a trip to Moscow and conferred with senior colleagues, including newly installed hard-line defense minister Avigdor Lieberman.
“We discussed a range of offensive and defensive steps which we shall take in order to act against this phenomenon,” Netanyahu’s office quoted the premier as saying.
“There will be intensive action by the police, the army and other security services, not just to catch every accomplice to this murder but also to prevent further incidents.”
The shooting will serve as a first major test for Lieberman, sworn in on May 30 and who has in the past threatened severe action against Palestinian “terrorists.”
A spokesman for Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and which is also present in the West Bank, called the attack a “heroic operation.”
It was not yet clear if the attackers were acting alone of as part of a larger plot.
One of Israel’s first responses was to revoke tens of thousands of entry permits.
“All permits for Ramadan, especially permits for family visits from Judea and Samaria to Israel, are frozen,” said a statement from COGAT, the defence ministry unit which manages civilian affairs in the occupied West Bank.