In what Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is calling "a new wave of terror" - chaos was unleashed in central Israel Tuesday in the third terror attack this week. Police identified that a 27-year old Palestinian man from the West Bank went on a shooting rampage with an assault rifle in two ultra-Orthodox towns just east of Tel Aviv, killing five people.
"Residents of the ultra-orthodox town of Bnei Brak and the neighboring town of Ramat Gan reported that a man had driven around and opened fire at passers-by, and Israeli police later said security forces killed the assailant," according to France24.
It appears that authorities believe the gunman may have had accomplices, given that as the Associated Press reports in total five Palestinians allegedly involved in the mass killing were arrested. However some reports say they are members of the suspect's family.
"We unfortunately have to note that five people have died," the head of the Magen David Adom emergency responders, Eli Bin, announced after the terror rampage across two towns. Israeli police on Wednesday identified two of the five male victims as Ukrainian nationals.
There's been a noticeable uptick in violence just ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, with international reports citing 11 victims killed in only a week. France24 details:
Tuesday’s killings mark the third deadly attack in Israel in a week, bringing the combined death toll to 11, excluding perpetrators.
A shooting on Sunday killed two Israeli police officers – identified as Shirel Aboukrat, a French-Israeli citizen, and Yezen Falah – in the northern city of Hadera. That attack was later claimed by the Islamic State group – the jihadists’ first claim of an attack on Israeli territory since 2017.
Israeli PM Bennett warned his country is "facing a wave of murderous ... terrorism" - and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the shootings a "terrorist attack" while calling the fresh violence "unacceptable".
Via Times of Israel: Newly released security camera footage from yesterday’s terror attack in Bnei Brak shows several children flee from the Palestinian assailant as he runs down a street in the city armed with a M-16.
Though Hamas had earlier in the week appeared to praise the prior attacks, calling them a "natural and legitimate response" to Israeli "crimes against our people" - Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in contrast denounced this week's killings.
"The killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only lead to further deterioration of the situation, while we are all striving for stability," Abbas said according to Wafa news agency.