This evening, a gunman opened fire on a Tel Aviv recreation center/cafe dedicated to supporting the area's gay community. Reports now list three dead, twelve injured, and most targets minors. And there's no question that this was a hate crime.
The shooting took place at a community center located in the center of the city. The shooter was dressed in black, walked in, opened fire, and fled the scene. Police have ordered every gay club in the city closed, and are dispatching all available resources to find the shooter.
A police spokesman characterized the crime as criminal, and not an act of nationalist terrorism: "most likely a criminal attack and not a terror attack" was the quote Reuters is running, along with this:
Coastal, cosmopolitan Tel Aviv has a bustling gay scene, but open homosexuality is less welcome in conservative areas of the Jewish state. Annual gay pride parades in Jerusalem meet with often violent protests from ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Almost every report is calling the scene of the crime a "bloodbath."
June's pride week in Tel Aviv culminated with a story widely reported in the Israeli press: five gay couples marrying in a joint ceremony on the beach. There were hard-right protesters on the scene "holding up banners reading: 'God hates debauchery.'" The legislative branch of Israel's government, the Knesset, has only one openly gay member, Nitzan Horowitz, who spent the day attending a protest of the deportation of foriegn workers' children.