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More troops for West Bank after Tel Aviv attack

The Israeli government has committed more troops to the West Bank in response to Wednesday night's shootings in Tel Aviv in which four Israelis were killed.

The shootings happened in an old market area - Sarona Market - where buildings have been converted into fashionable restaurants and cafes.

Our Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports:

At least nine wounded in shooting in Israel

The scene of the shooting

At least nine people have been wounded in a shooting in central Tel Aviv.

One person is in a critical condition, Israeli police said, adding the shooting was an apparent attack aimed against Israelis.

The incident occurred in an area of trendy cafes and restaurants very close to the central military headquarters and Defence Ministry compound.

The attack was the first following in lull after almost daily street attacks by Palestinians against Israelis which began in October and lasted several months.


Ex-Israeli PM Olmert makes video plea before entering jail

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert released a video statement insisting on his innocence before entering prison to begin a 19-month sentence for corruption.

Ehud Olmert, who appeared in a blue shirt in his video plea, will wear a prison uniform and have two cellmates but will be segregated from the general prison population for security reasons. Credit: RTV

The 70-year-old - who was credited with working towards peace with the Palestinians while in office from 2006 to 2009 - is the first former head of government in Israel to go to prison.

"As prime minister I was charged with the highest responsibility of safeguarding Israel's citizens. Today I am the one to be locked behind bars," he said in a video released to the media.

Olmert entered Maasiyahu prison near Ramle, south of Tel Aviv, after arriving in a motorcade protected by bodyguards assigned to former leaders. Credit: Reuters

"At this time, it is important for me to say once more, as I did in court and outside it, that I completely deny the bribery charges I was accused of," Olmert said in the video.

Olmert had his initial six-year sentence cut by Israel's Supreme Court in December. A separate eight-month jail term is pending since his conviction last May in another case related to cash payments he was alleged to have received from an American businessman.

Report: Attacker stabbed nine people on Tel Aviv bus

Police near the scene of the attack in Tel Aviv Credit: Reuters

Israeli news website JPost reports that an attacker stabbed at least nine people on a bus in Tel Aviv today.

The report describes the assailant as a "suspected terrorist" and says that he entered Israel illegally.

Pictures from the scene showed police investigators boarding the bus and a number of ambulances.

'Strong possibility' Tel Aviv explosion is criminal act

Israeli police have said that an explosion has gone off in a car in Tel Aviv but that there is a "strong possibility" it is a criminal act.

Associated Press report that police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he believed the explosion near a bus was criminally motivated, though he could not definitively rule out that it was political violence.

Rescue services spokesman Zaki Heller says preliminary reports from the scene indicated seven to 10 people were wounded in the explosion.


US condemns 'outrageous' Tel Aviv bomb attack

The United States condemns today’s terrorist attack on a bus in Tel Aviv.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those injured, and with the people of Israel.

These attacks against innocent Israeli civilians are outrageous.

The United States will stand with our Israeli allies, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack.

The United States reaffirms our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people.

– White House Press Secreatry
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