ISRAEL: Ahead of funerals for two of the five individuals killed in a terror attack in an ultra-religious Jewish hamlet on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned of a “wave of homicidal Arab terrorism.”
The killing of four civilians and a police officer in Bnei Brak, a beach town outside Tel Aviv, was the third fatal gun or knife attack in the Jewish state in the last week. As per the reports, two of the victims killed were from Ukraine.
“An attacker using an assault weapon opened fire on civilians on Bnei Brak’s Hashnayim Street, killing numerous victims,” Israeli police stated.
“From there, he walked to Herzl Street and opened fire on civilians before being neutralized by police,” they said in a statement.
The attacker, identified as Diaa Hamarshah, was a Palestinian from the Israeli-occupied West Bank who had served four years in Israeli prisons, according to Israeli media.
Bennett, who leads a coalition government that includes Jewish nationalists as well as Arabs, said the country was “facing a wave of homicidal Arab terrorism.”
On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will attend an emergency meeting with top security officials to assess the situation.
The police have been placed on high alert, and the army has said that it will deploy more battalions in and around the West Bank.
“Unfortunately, we must report that five individuals have died,” said Eli Bin, the Magen David Adom emergency responders’ commander.
The attacks were condemned by Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, who is based in the West Bank.
“Killing Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only exacerbate the situation at a time when we are all working for peace,” he said in a statement.
The ‘terrorist incident,’ according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, was “unacceptable,” as was the recent spate of violence.
The spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that he “condemns the recent terrorist acts in Israel.”
In a statement, spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated, “Such acts of violence can never be justified and must be condemned by all.”
The shooting on Tuesday is Israel’s third deadly attack in a week, bringing the total death toll to 11, excluding the perpetrators.
Two Israeli police officers, Shirel Aboukrat, a French-Israeli citizen, and Yezen Falah, were slain in a shooting in the northern city of Hadera on Sunday.
The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack, making it the terrorists’ first claim of an attack on Israeli territory since 2017.
The two perpetrators of the Hadera incident, according to Israeli police, were slain on the spot.
The Gaza Strip’s Islamic Palestinian rulers, Hamas, welcomed Sunday’s attack as a “natural and legal response” to Israeli “crimes against our people.”
The Gaza-based Islamic Jihad militant group and Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement both praised it.
The attack happened on the same day as a historic meeting between Israel’s foreign minister and the foreign ministers of four Arab countries with links to the Jewish state, including Blinken.
Last week, four Israelis were slain in a stabbing and car-ramming incident in the southern city of Beersheba by a convicted IS sympathizer.
Tensions between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians visiting the Al-Aqsa mosque in disputed east Jerusalem erupted last year during the fasting month, which begins in April, feeding into an 11-day armed battle between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.