On the day after the devastating terror attack at the cultural and business of Israel’s biggest business city, police were to be found everywhere in large numbers – especially in areas of central Tel Aviv around the Sarona Market, where four people were killed and nearly 20 injured Wednesday night. Hundreds of police were on patrol near office buildings, schools, malls, train stations and other areas with large numbers of people passing through. Police have asked Israelis, and especially those in Tel Aviv, to be extra observant of phenomena that does not “look right” and report it immediately.
Six victims of the attack were still in hospitals Thursday morning, four suffering from moderate to serious injuries, and two with light wounds. The names of the murdered victims were released Thursday morning. They are Ido Ben-Ari, Hy”d, a 42-year-old resident of Ramat Gan; Ilana Naveh, Hy”d, 39, from Tel Aviv; Michael Fayga, Hy”d, 58, from Midreshet Ben Gurion and Mila Mashiv, Hy”d, 32, from Ramat Gan. Levayah information for the victims was not immediately available.
The IDF rolled back several of the security leniencies that had been instituted for Ramadan, canceling 83,000 entry permits for Palestinian Authority and Gaza Arabs to enter Israel to visit families and to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Har HaBayis. In addition, 204 work permits that had been used by members of the families of the terrorists have been cancelled.
IDF forces on Thursday morning placed the town of Yatta, where the terrorists lived, and have located the homes of their families. Officials promised that the homes would be demolished “very soon.” In a statement, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday that the attack “was a savage incident of cold-blooded murder by terrorists. We are discussing a number of steps, both offensive and defensive, to prevent things like this happen again. We will increase our presence over Shavuot in population centers in order to ensure that people feel safe and are safe.”
The Security Cabinet was meeting Thursday to discuss further action. Speaking to Israel Radio, Transport Minister Yisrael Katz – a member of the Security Cabinet – said that “the village these terrorists emerged from needs to be dealt with severely, from its roots. They should be under a long-term closure. We need a law to deport families of terrorists in order to increase our effectiveness in dealing with terror. These steps were important yesterday, and how much more so after the attack.”
A top official in the police department said Thursday that it appeared that the terrorists planned to take hostages. The shooting occurred at a café at the entrance of the Sarona Market. The terrorists sat down at a table and jumped up, opening fire. The official told Walla News that an initial investigation determined that the terrorists had planned to make their way into the interior of the market, where they would most likely have been able to shoot many more people and grab hostages. They decided not to because there were security guards at the entrance to the marketplace area of the building.
One of the terrorists who ran away after opening fire attempted to hide in an apartment building, where he also planned to take hostages and negotiate with authorities. A police officer passing by the building recognized the terrorist and chased him away from the building, the official said.