The suburb of Bnei Brak, east of Tel Aviv Israel, was struck by terror overnight as an Arabic gunman opened fire killing at least five people before being fatally shot. The nation of Israel is currently experiencing a wave of attacks, with this being the third deadly shooting there within a week. Shortly after the shooting, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted that “Israel is facing a wave of murderous Arab terror,” as Bnei Brak is a Jewish ultra-Orthodox city. This latest shooting raises the number of people killed by Arabic gunmen in Israel over the past week to 11, which is the largest spike in attacks on city streets in years.
It has been reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the killing of Israeli civilians, stressing that the killing of both Israelis and Palestinians would only lead to increased hostility in the region. He has also cautioned against retaliatory attacks by Jewish settlers and others for the same reasoning.
Amateur video appears to show a man dressed in black, pointing an assault rifle walk walking down a roadside in Bnei Brak.
Israeli media reports indicate that the assailant was a Palestinian from near the city of Jenin, which lays in the occupied West Bann.
Police stated that the gunman managed to kill four civilians, and an officer who had arrived on the scene before being fatally shot.
Currently there have been no claims of responsibility for the attack.
Israeli officials had warned about a potential surge in assaults in the lead up to April, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as this period has seen a surge in violence in previous years.
Last year’s holy month saw nightly clashes between Palestinians and Israelis police, with an eventual raid being performed on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as well as a ban on night time gatherings at Damascus Gate. This ignited tensions leading to increased violence between Israel and Gaza militants, which lead to 11 days of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli air strikes in the region.
Witnesses to this latest attack have stated that the gunman began shooting at apartment balconies from the street and then took aim at people on the street and in a car.
“I live on Hashneim Street in Bnei Brak and I was at home when I heard gunshots,” paramedic Menachem Englander said, according to a tweet posted by Magen David Adom. “I immediately went out to the street and saw a terrorist pointing a weapon at me. By a miracle, his weapon jammed and he couldn’t shoot.”
Last week, an Arab citizen of Israel killed four people in a violent attack, consisting of both a knife attack as well as use of a car to run people down. Israeli authorities claimed he was an Islamic State sympathiser. Then on Sunday two Police officers were killed in the city of Hadera by another Arabic assailant, Islamic state claiming responsibility for that attack.