Mass shooting near NYU Tel Aviv campus prompts university response

After a shooting in Tel Aviv last week and a number of attacks in Israel over the last month, site administrators advised students to exercise greater caution and avoid traveling outside of Tel Aviv.

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A mass shooting took place near NYU’s Tel Aviv campus on April 7, in which two victims were Tel Aviv University students. (Photo by Andrew Califf)

Maria Freyre, Senior Staff Writer

NYU Tel Aviv provided transportation back to campus and advised students to temporarily stay indoors after a mass shooting near campus on April 7. The shooting left three dead and at least 15 wounded on Dizengoff Street, a popular area frequented by NYU students for dining, shopping and nightlife. Two of the victims were Tel Aviv University students. 

The shooting took place at Ilka Bar, which is around a 30-minute walk from Bnei Dan Hostel Tel Aviv, NYU Tel Aviv’s residence hall. Israeli police shot and killed the gunman the following day after a nine-hour manhunt in central Tel Aviv, which was on lockdown. The incident was the fourth in a string of violent attacks in Israel since March 22, leaving 14 people dead.

CAS sophomore Leah El-Ouazzane was eating dinner with her mother and family friends at a restaurant in Tel Aviv before receiving calls about the shooting. Following the incident, she said all of the students and staff in the study away program sent messages in the campus WhatsApp group chat to confirm that they were safe.

“News kept coming in,” she said. “All of my friends who are Israeli started calling me and everyone called everyone making sure they’re OK.”

Another student was about a 15-minute walk away from where the shooting occured. Eran Rotshenker, the manager of Student Life and Housing, and Omer Biton, the Residential Life assistant, communicated with the student and his friends directly to provide transportation to the residence hall.

NYU Tel Aviv has been monitoring the rise of attacks in Israel as the recent shooting became the fourth attack by Palestinians in Israel in less than a month. Rotshenker, Site Director Benjamin Hary and Assistant Director for Academics Edan Raviv held a campuswide meeting to address the recent Bnei Brak terrorist attack, in which five people were killed. Students were advised to take precautions when they travel and to avoid traveling outside of Tel Aviv.

“Over the following days, we’ve visited the students in their residence hall to ensure they’re all doing well, and we’ve reviewed safety guidance and best practices with all of them,” Rotshenker wrote to WSN. “We are also re-assessing our planned excursions for the remainder of the semester, and we will make adjustments as needed.”

GLS junior Asher Moskowitz was in the residence hall when he received a notification about the shooting. He was nervous that some of his friends would be at or near the scene, but said was reassured by the university’s response following the incident. 

“I was scared because it’s Thursday and students might be out, especially on Dizengoff at that time,” Moskowitz said. “They’ve been definitely keeping us informed and wanting to make sure that we know we’re OK and that their door is always open.”

Contact Maria Freyre at [email protected]