TEL AVIV: A gunman killed at least five Israelis late Tuesday in a city near Tel Aviv in what authorities described as the third “terrorist attack” in the country in the last week.
An Arab Israeli man who had previously confessed to supporting ISIS killed four Israelis last week in Beersheba, and ISIS claimed responsibility for Sunday’s shooting in Hadera in which two Israelis died. No group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack.
U.S. and Israeli officials have expressed concerns about the possibility of an escalation of violence ahead of the beginning of the month of Ramadan.
What happened: The shooter in Tuesday’s attack opened fired with an automatic weapon on civilians in two different locations in Bnei Brak, a city just outside of Tel Aviv, police said.
Police identified the attacker as a 27-year-old Palestinian man from an occupied West Bank village near Jenin.
The attacker was killed by two police officers as he ran from the scene of the shooting, authorities said. One of the officers who confronted the attacker was shot dead, according to police.
What they’re saying: “Israel faces a wave of murderous Arab terrorism,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.
“We will fight terrorism with an iron fist,” he added.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack in a statement.
“The killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only lead to a deterioration of the situation at a time when we are trying to reach a stabilization on the eve of the month of Ramadan and the Jewish and Christian holidays,” he said.
“Israelis like all people around the world should be able to live in peace and without fear,” Blinken wrote. “Our hearts go out to the families of those killed in the attacks. May their memories be a blessing…”
Hamas welcomed the attack, calling it “an act of heroism” and “a natural reaction to the crimes of the occupation against our people.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad also praised the attack, saying, “The resistance to the occupation will continue with all the force.”
What’s next: Israel’s Security Cabinet will convene on Wednesday to discuss the wave of attacks. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)