JERUSALEM — At least two people were killed and eight others wounded in a shooting on Thursday night outside a bar on a busy street in central Tel Aviv, the latest in the deadliest wave of terrorism in Israel since 2016.
Medics said the shooting occurred at around 9 p.m. on the last night of the Israeli working week, outside a bar filled with people enjoying the start of the weekend. Nearly three hours later, the police and the military still had not located the shooter or shooters and the police instructed residents to stay home.
The shooter’s disappearance set off a surreal manhunt in the heart of Israel’s most cosmopolitan city. Soldiers in full combat gear ran through the city center searching for the shooter, many of them filmed live by journalists who jogged beside them.
The shooting was the fourth lethal attack in Israel in less than three weeks, and brought the total death toll since March 22 to 13. The assault heightened fears of an even more intense surge over the next 10 days, when the rare convergence of Ramadan, Passover and Easter is expected to raise tensions further between Israelis and Palestinians.
Ten casualties were taken to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, two of whom later died, and four of whom were in critical condition, the hospital said.
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Another injured man said he initially had not realized he was hurt. After hearing the shots outside the bar and seeing its window shatter, the man, Mark Malfeyev, said he began sprinting to safety. “I did not know I had an injury, and I just started running,” Mr. Malfeyev said in a video filmed from his hospital bed and broadcast by Kan, the Israeli public broadcaster. “Then I saw a lot of blood.”
Broadcasters showed video of the debris outside the bar, where emergency responders and police officers stood beside a pile of broken glass. Civilians ran to take shelter in nearby apartment buildings and elevators, some of them knocking on the doors of strangers in order to find shelter, medics and residents said.
Yisrael Weingarten, a paramedic with Magen David Adom, an Israeli emergency medical group, treated some of the victims, and said he witnessed “a large commotion at the scene, with dozens of people running in the streets,” and six “patients lying on the sidewalk.”
“We immediately began treatment, including bleeding control and bandaging,” Mr. Weingarten added, in a statement circulated by M.D.A.
The attack on Thursday occurred 10 days after a gun attack in Bnei Brak, a city just east of Tel Aviv, in which a Palestinian attacker killed three Israelis and two Ukrainians.
That incident came just two days after a gun attack in which two Arab citizens of Israel, armed with heavy automatic weapons, fatally shot two police officers in Hadera, a coastal city in northern Israel.
The string of deadly attacks began March 22, when an assailant stabbed three people and rammed another with his car in a city in southern Israel, killing all four. Before the March 22 assault, there had also been two other nonlethal stabbing attacks in the space of a week in Jerusalem.
Most attacks in recent years have been carried out with knives, so the surge in the use of firearms has been of particular concern to security officials, because it implies an unusual level of forethought and resources.
At the time of the attack, the Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, was visiting the Israeli Army headquarters in a nearby district of Tel Aviv, and was briefed there about the assault.
The motivations of the recent attackers have varied. Three of the attackers have been Arab citizens of Israel who were believed to support the Islamic State, the extremist group that is not part of the Palestinian nationalist movement. The shooter in Bnei Brak was a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank who had previously served 30 months in an Israeli jail for conspiracy to commit manslaughter and for throwing objects at vehicles.
No Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but some groups said that they were a natural response to the Israeli occupation. Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and, with Egypt, has maintained a blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007. While the Palestinian Authority manages about 40 percent of the West Bank, the Israeli Army still conducts daily raids even in areas run by the authority, and Israel operates a two-tier justice system in the territory — one for Israeli settlers and one for Palestinians.
Rawan Sheikh Ahmad contributed reporting from Haifa, Israel.