An Arab assailant killed at least four people in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on Tuesday before he was fatally shot by a passerby, in one of the deadliest such attacks in Israel in years, police and emergency services said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Israeli media reports identified the attacker as an Arab citizen of Israel, a former high school teacher who had been imprisoned over alleged links to the Islamic State.
“It appeared to be a single terrorist who went on a stabbing spree,” police spokesman Eli Levy said on Channel 13 TV. “A civilian took the initiative and shot and killed him.”
The Magen David Adom ambulance service said three women and a man were killed by the assailant, who carried out the attack at a petrol station and at an outdoor shopping center, and that at least two other people were wounded, one critically.
Tensions have been on the rise in Israel and the Palestinian territories as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in April this year, approaches – a period when violence has erupted in the past.
Several Palestinian stabbing attacks have occurred in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent weeks, with some of the suspected assailants shot dead by Israeli forces.
Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters