Israel shooting 2016 Tel Aviv
An Israeli policemen runs at the scene of a shooting incident in Tel Aviv, IsraelREUTERS/Nir Elias

Two people were confirmed killed and seven injured after a shooting at a pub in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel on New Year's Day (2016). Police units are conducting searches of nearby buildings in the area of the pub, at the corner of Dizengoff and Gordon St, after the attacker fled the scene on foot.

What was described as a suspicious-looking person was detained in nearby Reines Street but the suspect, described as pale-coloured and "not Eastern," remains at large. He was reported by eye-witnesses to be carrying an M16 rifle.

The injured were taken to hospital, two in critical condition. The area around the shooting is sealed off. Tel Aviv municipality says it is still unclear if the attack was terror related or linked to crime. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said the public should let the police get on with their job, adding: "We're still at the beginning of the incident and I hope those responsible get caught."

Another shooting took place at Tel Aviv's Mandarin Hotel in Tel Baruch around 20 minutes after the attack on the pub, though it is still unclear if the two events are linked. In November, two people were stabbed to death in the city.

There has been an upsurge in violence across Israel and the Occupied Territories in recent months, leading to fears the region could be experiencing a so-called "Third Intifada". Around 130 Palestinians, 20 Israelis and one US man have died in the attacks.

Most of the incidents have involved lone Palestinians armed with knives or using vehicles as weapons, though Palestinians have accused the Israelis of shooting many innocent civilians. On 31 December, Palestinian rights organisation Al-Haq said 85 of the Palestinians killed were victims of extra-judicial killings.

"It was clear to us that the Israeli forces killed them at a time when it could have controlled them or neutralized them," said Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin.