Cockroach sparks terror attack panic in Tel Aviv

Several patrons injured at popular Tel Aviv cafe as diners stampede, overturning tables and trampling each other, according to eyewitnesses.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News Staff

Several patrons were injured at a Tel Aviv café on Saturday afternoon, after a woman who screamed when she saw a cockroach in the bar next door sparked panic that the eatery was under attack by terrorists.

Cafe Dizengoff, named after the main Tel Aviv thoroughfare on which the restaurant is located, is a popular brunch location in the White City. The café was packed with customers on Saturday, according to a Mako report.

However, the eatery devolved into chaos after a customer, who was drinking in a neighborhood bar directly next to Cafe Dizengoff, began screaming dramatically when she spotted a cockroach on the sidewalk.

Her nonstop shrieks were so intense that nearby patrons at the café believed that there was a terror attack in progress. There have been several major terror attacks on Dizengoff Street in recent years, including a shooting attack that killed one this March.

“It was the scariest thing that ever happened to me,” an eyewitness who dined at Cafe Dizengoff told Mako.

“Suddenly there was screaming, people panicked and overturned tables, and everyone started yelling and running and trampling each other. There were many glasses and plates shattered, and people tripped and fell and got cut on the glass while other people stepped on them.”

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Pictures from the scene circulating on social media showed smashed plates and cups, along with tables knocked on their sides. The diners’ personal items left behind during the rush to flee, such as sunglasses, purses, and even a shoe, were also visible.

“People were frightened by the screams and started running away, knocking over tables,” another eyewitness told Mako. “Because of the chaos, there were people who were injured. I saw an older man with blood on his face, he appeared to be in shock. I also saw two young girls whose legs were all cut up.”

At least “five police cars and an ambulance responded to the scene,” the witness said. “It was terrible.”