Elana yelled from the bedroom for me to come. That always means she’s watching the news, and something has happened. A gunman had shot up a bar in Tel Aviv, not too far from my home. I watched intently to see how many were hurt, if any had been killed, and where is the terrorist.
Back in the days of suicide bombings, you knew the terrorist was dead. But the latest wave of terror is Palestinians or Israeli Arabs shooting people. While I am fluent in Hebrew, watching the news during a crisis challenges all of my brain cells. I was able to deduce that the terrorist was still on the loose.
My neighbor was sitting with a friend of hers, having a glass of wine outside. We live in a garden apartment with a tiny little backyard made of wood. Two girls, catching up, just as happy as can be… I thought… Should I tell them? I wondered how they would react. After all, terrorism is something that we live with here in Israel.
I went outside to tell them: “Haya pigua b’Dizengoff…haya yiri.” “There was a terror attack in Dizengoff (a famous street in Tel Aviv)…it was a shooting.”
They ran inside to turn on the news. Ten minutes later, I could hear the doors close, and their treesim come down. Treesim are these automatic outdoor blinds that block all the sun and are an extra layer of security. It was weird for them to close them at such an early hour… and then I realized why. As I said, we live in garden apartments, and the terrorist was still on the loose. I quickly closed mine.
At 5 AM, there was a report that they had still not found him. Initially, they thought there were possibly two or three gunmen, but it turns out there was just one. He ended up killing two in wounding 10.
Before 7 AM, Israeli forces found him hiding near a mosque in Jaffa, the historic port in southern Tel Aviv. After a gunfight, the terrorist was neutralized. Palestinian groups celebrated him as a martyr.
The two people murdered by the terrorist last night were childhood friends, both 27 years old—Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini. Magini got engaged last month and was supposed to have an engagement party with his fiancée tonight. Morad and Magini will be buried Sunday in their hometown of Kfar Saba.
Friday mornings in Tel Aviv are usually a time when the cafes are crowded, and the streets are full of people going to the market and getting ready for Shabbat. Instead, Tel Aviv cafes were empty.