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Israel Faces Third Terrorist Attack in One Week

A police forensics expert after a terrorist attack in Israel / Reuters
• March 29, 2022 4:40 pm

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By Rami Amichay

BNEI BRAK, Israel (Reuters) — An Arab gunman killed at least five people in a Tel Aviv suburb on Tuesday before he was fatally shot, the national ambulance service said, in the third deadly attack in Israel in a week.

"Israel is facing a wave of murderous Arab terror," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted after the shootings in Bnei Brak, a Jewish ultra-Orthodox city on the outskirts of Israel's commercial capital.

The shooting raised to 11 the number of people killed by Arab gunmen in Israel over the past week, the sharpest spike in attacks on city streets in years.

Amateur video broadcast on Israeli television stations showed a man dressed in black and pointing an assault rifle walking down a road in Bnei Brak.

Israeli media reports, quoting unidentified security officials, said the assailant was a Palestinian from a village near the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

In Bnei Brak, witnesses said the gunman began shooting at apartment balconies and then at people on the street and in a car.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said he shot dead five people.

"The terrorist was liquidated," ambulance spokesman Zaki Heller said. Police said officers fatally shot the gunman.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Israeli officials had cautioned about a surge in assaults in the run-up in April to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a period in which violence has surged in the past, with East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in a 1967 war, a focal point of tension.

"I live on Hashneim Street in Bnei Brak and I was at home when I heard gunshots," paramedic Menachem Englander said, according to a tweet posted by Magen David Adom. "I immediately went out to the street and saw a terrorist pointing a weapon at me. By a miracle, his weapon jammed and he couldn't shoot."

Last week, an Arab citizen of Israel killed four people in a stabbing and car ramming attack in the southern city of Beersheba, before he was shot dead by a passerby. Israeli authorities said he was an Islamic State sympathiser.

On Sunday, as an Israeli-Arab summit convened in southern Israel, an Arab assailant, a resident of a town in the north of the country, shot and killed two police officers in Hadera, a city some 50 km (30 miles) north of Tel Aviv. Other officers shot and killed him.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Hadera attack.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller. Editing by Grant McCool.)