UPDATE (Lurleen): The Moderate Voice introduces us to two of the three people killed. “26-year-old Nir Katz, youth counselor, IDF veteran, college student” and “16-year-old Liz Trobishi, a self-described straight ally”:

“Although I am not a part of the Igy community I really love being with them,” the 16-year-old wrote on the youth organization’s online forum a few months ago.

Avi Cohen at Ynetnews reports on this horror, though the latest update is that a third victim has died:

The incident took place at a time during which teenagers belonging to the GLBT community were holding a meeting. At around 10:40 pm shots were heard at the meeting place in central Tel Aviv. A man dressed in black was spotted by eyewitnesses fleeing the scene, and he was later spotted again on a nearby street.

The police's Tel Aviv district commander, Major-General Shahar Ayalon, said the incident had not been preceded by threats to members of the community.

"For 15 years this place has served as a club belonging to the union for private rights. Today a teen meeting was taking place," he said. "At some point someone walked in and began firing left and right. The shooter escaped and we are searching for the suspect. We have no specific description of the suspect or the circumstances."

In a breaking update, Tel Aviv police district commander, Major-General Shahar Ayalonhas ordered all LGBT clubs in Tel Aviv to close following the shooting incident.

From the AP:

Openly gay Knesset lawmaker Nitzan Horowitz said it was "without a doubt the biggest ever attack on the Israeli gay community, we are all in shock."

Witnesses told Israeli media that the gunman was dressed all in black, and described the scene as a "bloodbath."

And a finger is being pointed at religious bigotry. (AFP):

"It is not surprising that such a crime can be committed given the incitement of hatred against the homosexual community," the president of Tel Aviv's gay and lesbian community, Mai Pelem, told reporters.

Pelem was referring to verbal attacks against gays from the religious community.

In the past, swastikas had been painted at the entrance to the centre in an attempt to stigmatise homosexuals.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding