Tel Aviv shooter had criminal history - IDF

The terrorist responsible for the attack on Tel Aviv's Dizengoff street had previously been involved in a violent clash with other Jenin residents over finances.

Security forces take aim at a building where the gunman who opened fire on Dizengoff Street was suspected of hiding last night. At least two people were killed and another eight were wounded in the terrorist attack in the heart of Tel Aviv.  (photo credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)
Security forces take aim at a building where the gunman who opened fire on Dizengoff Street was suspected of hiding last night. At least two people were killed and another eight were wounded in the terrorist attack in the heart of Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

The perpetrator of Thursday’s terror attack on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff street had a prior criminal history, the IDF Spokesperson Unit said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

The information, posted by the Arab media division of the IDF Spokesperson's Unit’s head Avichay Adraee, purports that Ra’ad Hazem from Jenin, West Bank, who killed three people and injured 11 more in his indiscriminate attack, had been involved in a violent clash with other Jenin residents over finances.

He was shot at by the people who clashed with him and purchased a gun shortly thereafter to protect himself from the assailants. He used this same gun in the Tel Aviv attack, last using it to fire at the security forces who discovered him in Jaffa before said officers shot him dead.

While pursued and even shot at for his financial obligations prior to the terror attack, Hazem has become a local hero in the aftermath.

"You will see the victory soon… God, liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque from the occupiers," the terrorist's father - a former Palestinian Authority security officer - was filmed saying outside his house on Friday.

 Photo showing a man suspected of being the terrorist who carried out the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE) Photo showing a man suspected of being the terrorist who carried out the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

Hazem’s uncle was also proud of his nephew’s attack, saying that other family members have died in clashes with security forces, while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called the terrorist's father in order to praise his son’s attack.

"Ra’ad Hazem is not a hero, but he is a terrorist criminal, and even the people of Jenin know his truth as one of the criminals involved in financial (crimes)," the IDF statement concluded.

Anna Ahronheim, Khaled Abu Toameh and Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.