At least four people were wounded and three others killed in a suspected ax attack in the Israeli town of El’ad on Thursday night, according to reports.
Israeli authorities said a pair of Palestinian attackers went on a stabbing rampage in El’ad before fleeing in a vehicle. El’ad is located some 15 miles east of Tel Aviv.
“We will get our hands on the terrorists and their supportive environment, and they will pay the price,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said after huddling with senior security officials late Thursday.
EMTs dispatched to the scene were treating the wounded, including a man in his 40s who was unresponsive and in critical condition with a “penetrating wound,” a spokesperson for Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency medical response told Jewish Press.
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Some reports indicated the wounds resulted from an ax attack, but police have yet to confirm the nature of the wounds.
“Due to the nature of the incident, the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit has been dispatched in addition to EMS first responders,” said United Hatzalah spokesperson Raphi Poch.
At least three people died due to the attack, Haaretz reported.
Police launched a massive search for the assailants, setting up roadblocks and dispatching a helicopter. The stabbing, coming on Israel’s Independence Day, was the latest in a string of deadly attacks in Israeli cities in recent weeks.
Emergency services urged residents to remain in their homes while security personnel search for the suspect or suspects involved, saying that a “terrorist is at large.”
Israeli-Palestinian tensions have soared recently, with the attacks in Israel, military operations in the occupied West Bank and violence at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site. The site, home to the Al Aqsa Mosque, was the scene of new unrest earlier Thursday.
It has been some of the worst bloodshed in years. At least 18 Israelis have died in five attacks — including a stabbing rampage in southern Israel, two other shootings in the Tel Aviv area and a shooting last weekend in a West Bank settlement. Nearly 30 Palestinians have died in violence — most of whom had carried out attacks or were involved in confrontations with Israeli forces in the West Bank. But an unarmed woman and a lawyer who appears to have been inadvertently shot were also killed.
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Israel and Hamas fought an 11-day war a year ago, fueled in large part by similar unrest in Jerusalem.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news.