By ILAN BEN ZION
JERUSALEM (AP) — A gunman on a bike opened hearth in a metropolis in central Israel late Tuesday, methodically gunning down victims as he killed not less than 5 folks in the third such road attack in a week. The shooter was killed by police.
Israeli media mentioned the attacker was a Palestinian from the West Financial institution, the third Arab assailant to launch an attack forward of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The earlier two assaults, carried out by Arab residents of Israel impressed by the Islamic State extremist group, have raised issues of additional violence.
Israel “stands before a wave of murderous Arab terrorism,” declared Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. He pledged to fight it “with perseverance, stubbornness and an iron fist.” He held an emergency assembly of high safety officers and deliberate a assembly of his Safety Cupboard on Wednesday.
Israeli authorities haven’t but decided whether or not the assaults have been organized or whether or not the attackers acted individually. The Israeli army introduced it will be deploying extra troops to the West Financial institution, and the police chief raised the nationwide readiness degree to its highest.
Beginner video footage aired on Israeli tv appeared to point out the gunman in a black shirt armed with an assault rifle stopping a shifting car and taking pictures the driving force. One other confirmed him chasing a bike owner, with the gun showing to jam as he tried to fireside.
Tuesday’s shootings occurred at two areas in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox metropolis simply east of Tel Aviv. Police mentioned a preliminary investigation discovered the gunman was armed with an assault rifle and opened hearth on passersby earlier than he was shot by officers on the scene.
The Magen David Adom paramedic service confirmed that 5 folks have been killed. Police mentioned one of many victims was a police officer who arrived on the scene and engaged the shooter.
Israel Protection Minister Benny Gantz wrote on Twitter that the safety forces (*5*)
Israeli media reported that the suspected gunman was a 27-year-old Palestinian man from the northern West Financial institution city of Yabad. Police didn’t instantly present details about the suspect.
Within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, saying the killing of Israeli or Palestinian civilians “only leads to further deterioration of the situation and instability, which we all strive to achieve, especially as we are approaching the holy month of Ramadan and Christian and Jewish holidays.”
He mentioned the violence “confirms that permanent, comprehensive and just peace is the shortest way to provide security and stability for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.”
No Palestinian teams instantly claimed duty for the attack. The Islamist militant group Hamas praised the “heroic operation,” however stopped wanting claiming duty.
Israel in current weeks has been taking steps geared toward calming tensions and avoiding a repeat of final yr, when clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators in Jerusalem boiled over into an 11-day warfare between Israel and Hamas.
However the brand new wave of violence is drastically complicating these efforts.
On Sunday, a pair of gunmen killed two younger law enforcement officials throughout a taking pictures in the central metropolis of Hadera, and final week, a lone assailant killed 4 folks in a automobile ramming and stabbing attack in the southern metropolis of Beersheba.
Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli safety providers raided the houses of not less than 12 Arab residents and arrested two suspected of getting ties to the Islamic State group in a crackdown sparked by current lethal assaults.
Hours earlier than the raid, Bennett mentioned the current assaults inside Israel marked a “new situation” that required stepped-up safety measures.
Legislation enforcement officers mentioned 31 houses and websites have been searched in a single day in northern Israel, an space that was dwelling to the gunmen who carried out the Hadera attack.
The Islamic State group has claimed duty for the 2 earlier assaults.
All the assaults have come simply forward of Ramadan, which begins later this week and as Israel hosted a high-profile assembly this week between the international ministers of 4 Arab nations and the USA.
All 4 Arab nations — Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — together with the USA, condemned the killings.
Ramadan is anticipated to start Saturday.
Lethal assaults by IS inside Israel, and assaults by Arab residents of Israel, are uncommon.
The group operates primarily in Iraq and Syria, the place it has not too long ago stepped up assaults towards safety forces. It not controls any territory however operates by sleeper cells. IS has claimed assaults towards Israeli troops in the previous and has branches in Afghanistan and different international locations.