DJ at Tel Aviv club: I was told to keep playing

Panic avoided as terrorist rams crowd outside end-of-summer party for high school children; cab driver: I thought he wanted to steal the car.

DJ generic 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank [illustrative])
DJ generic 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank [illustrative])
The DJ who was playing at Tel Aviv’s Haoman 17 nightclub early Monday morning told The Jerusalem Post that he was informed about a terror attack outside the club shortly after it happened, but was asked by management to keep playing.
The club was holding an end-of-summer party that was being held for high schoolers from around the country, and the club owners wanted to avoid pandemonium and panic.
The DJ, Yinon Yahel, was walking away from the scene carrying his equipment at about 3:45 a.m. through a crowd of hundreds of teenagers, long after police had neutralized the scene.
Yahel said “the management came and told me that there was an attack outside the club, but told me to keep playing and not to say anything, so that people wouldn’t panic. Everyone was inside by then so they didn’t seem to know what was going on.”
Only after an hour, when the scene outside was neutralized, were the teenagers evacuated from the club.
Eight people were injured in the attack, after a terrorist from the West Bank carjacked a taxi and rammed it into a police road block, before going on a stabbing spree.
Police said that the roadblock and the fact that most of the party-goers were by then inside averted a greater tragedy.
One of the teenagers, a 16-year-old named Amir who came from his home in Tiberias to attend the party, said that around an hour after the attack happened “they cut off the music and turned on the lights and told us the party was over and we had to leave.”
Amir said that by then a number of party-goers had seen the news on their smart phones and word was making its way around the club about what happened.
He said that a few teenagers had shown off pictures of the scene and the aftermath that they had taken with their cell phones before police shuffled them away from the scene.
The aftermath of the attack did not quite befit the horror one would expect from a scene of such mayhem.
For a solid two blocks on Salameh Street hundreds of teenagers milled around and laughed, excitedly gossiping about their brush with terror as they took time to pose for pictures and flirt.
Every few minutes a bus to Rishon Lezion and other cities outside Tel Aviv would pull up and be swarmed by dozens of eager passengers.
Another teenager, Yoav, said he was outside the club when the attack happened, and he saw people fly into the air when the cab crashed into the crowd. He said he saw the terrorist stab a border patrolman in the neck and at that point he fled. By 4 a.m. he was leaning against a wall on Salameh Street with about half a dozen friends, smoking cigarettes and waiting for their ride home.
Meters away, crime scene investigators continued to examine the mangled taxi cab, as a few patches of blood congealed on the sidewalk.