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Netanyahu threatens crackdown on Israeli Arab areas

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the shooting that left two people dead at a Tel Aviv bar. He said he has formulated a plan with police to "dramatically increase law enforcement in the Arab sector."

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Saturday the murder of two people in Tel Aviv by an alleged Arab Israeli shooter. Seven others were also wounded in the attack outside the popular Tel Aviv pub on Friday.

Police have identified the shooter as Nashaat Melhem, and have said that they are on "heightened alert" and that a large-scale manhunt is underway.

No motive has been given for the shooting. But police said there was a "strong possibility that this was a terrorist attack," though a report in the "Haaretz" newspaper, which interviewed some of the suspects relatives, suggested he wanted to avenge his cousin's murder by border police.

Netanyahu condemned the shooting, saying, "There was a despicable murder here yesterday, incomprehensible cruelty."

The attack was also denounced by Israeli Arab leaders, as well as by relatives of the gunman living in the northern Israeli village of Arara. The relatives helped authorities identify the shooter after seeing security footage aired on news reports.

Security Tightened in Israeli Arab areas

The premier then said he was drawing up a plan with police to "dramatically increase law enforcement in the Arab sector."

"I am not willing to accept two states within Israel, a state of law for most of its citizens and a state within a state for some of its citizens. That era is over," he said.

"Whoever wants to be Israeli must be Israeli all the way," he added.

The shooting comes amid heightened tension among Palestinians and Israelis, as increased violence in the past three months has resulted in the deaths of more than 20 Israelis and 140 Palestinians.

Arab Israelis, who account for 17 percent of the population in Israel, often complain of discrimination, citing unfair working conditions and living arrangements.

smm/bk (AFP, AP)

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