Tel Aviv: The father of the gunman who killed two and injured seven in a shooting in central Tel Aviv on Friday urged the police to find his son quickly, warning of more possible attacks.
“Just as he murdered two people he can murder more,” the father of the as yet un-named gunman told the Israeli Yediot Ahranot daily. “I’m worried and I want to hear that he’s in the police’s hands”
The father – who volunteers with the local police – explained that he drove to the police station as soon as he recognised his son’s face on the CCTV footage of the attack.
“We all condemn the event,” he said. “I don’t know from where this disaster came upon us. My son was in therapy. We didn’t have a feeling that he wanted to perpetrate any unusual act.”
The attacker has been identified as a 29-year-old member of Israel’s Arab minority from the Arara village in northern Israel.
Ten years ago, his cousin was killed by the Israeli border police during a search of his house, Haaretz daily noted, and he had previously served a five-year prison sentence for attempting to snatch a gun from a soldier.
His relatives describe him as suffering from mental problems.
Tel Aviv remained on high alert on Saturday as a wide-scale manhunt for the assassin – who is still believed to armed – continued.
Security forces combed through apartments, empty warehouses and other potential hiding places, believing the suspect to still be in the Tel Aviv area. Police also searched the area of Arara and the suspect’s home.
On the street outside the Simta bar where the attacks took place, Israelis paused to light candles in memory of the victims.
Alon Bakal, 26, and Shimon Ruimi, 30, were both killed in the attacks. Two more victims underwent emergency surgery and remain in serious condition, while five others were also injured and remain in hospital.
The Foreign Office updated their travel warning for Tel Aviv, urging visitors to remain “vigilant”.
On Friday night, two rockets fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel – no injuries or damage were reported.
Israel responded with airstrikes targeting training facilities in the Hamas-held coastal enclave. Later, a Gaza-based group affiliated with Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks.