UPDATE @ 12:30 a.m.: Three people are now dead following this shooting.
Via Haartez, disturbing news of an attack at a gay club in Tel Aviv. Two people are confirmed dead. Authorities are already calling it a “hate crime,” not a terrorist attack:
A gunman shot dead two people and wounded at least thirteen others in an attack at a central Tel Aviv gay club Saturday night before fleeing the scene.
Israel Police said that the incident at the Ha’agudah club, on Nahmani Street, did not have a terror motive. The two victims were initially identified as a young man and a young woman.
Channel 10 television said a police manhunt for the gunman was underway in the city. The channel also said that the police have closed all the gay clubs in Tel Aviv.
There’s a reason the gay bars were all closed. This was viewed as an attack on the gay community.
Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, Israel’s only openly gay lawmaker, condemned the attack, which he called a hate crime.
“This is without a doubt the worst ever incident targeting the gay community in Israel. It has the characteristics of a hate crime, of someone who attacked to blindly strike out at every person on the spot.”
I’ve learned a lot about the Israeli gay scene from our friend, Eytan Fox, the director of movies like “Yossi and Jagger” and “The Bubble.” I’ve never been to Tel Aviv, but it’s apparently a very open and gay-friendly city.