Attacker kills four in Israel before being shot dead

Israeli media reports identified attacker as Arab citizen of Israel

Policemen work at the scene of an attack in Beersheba, southern Israel. AP
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An Arab-Israeli assailant killed at least four people in the southern city of Beersheba on Tuesday before he was fatally shot by a passer-by 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 schoolteacher who had been jailed over reported links to ISIS.

“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 an outdoor shopping centre. At least two other people were wounded, one critically.

Tension has been on the rise in Israel and the Palestinian territories as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches — a period when violence has erupted in the past.

Several Palestinian stabbing attacks have occurred in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank in recent weeks, with some of the assailants shot dead by Israeli forces.

Updated: March 22, 2022, 5:11 PM