Israeli mass shooting: Palestinian gunman kills five in series of attacks near Tel Aviv in recent incident

At least five people were killed late Tuesday in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak by a gunman on a motorcycle who opened fire.

Local reports said the attacker was a 26-year-old West Bank Palestinian and was the third Arab attacker to launch an attack alone in the past week ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The shootings took place in two locations in the city east of Tel Aviv.

Video footage on Israeli television showed the gunman in a black shirt, armed with an assault rifle, stopping a moving vehicle and shooting at the driver.

The shooter was also seen chasing a cyclist with the gun appearing to jam as he tried to fire in another video.

The previous two attacks, carried out by Arab citizens of Israel and allegedly inspired by the Isis terror group, have raised concerns of further violence.

Following Tuesday’s attack, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held an emergency meeting with senior security officials and scheduled a meeting of his security cabinet for Wednesday.

In a statement, Mr Bennett said Israel “is facing a wave of murderous Arab terrorism”.

Mr Bennett said his government would fight it “with stamina, obstinacy and an iron fist”.

On Wednesday, authorities identified three of the five victims, including two fathers and a police officer who helped kill the gunman, they reported The Times of Israel.

The victims were named as 32-year-old officer Amir Khoury, Yaakov Shalom (36) and Avishai Yehezkel (29).

Police said the other two victims were Ukrainian nationals but gave no further details.

Authorities said Mr Khoury served on the Bnei Brak police station’s motorcyclist response team.

He was part of a team of two motorcycle officers who caught up with the gunman and killed him, ending the killing spree.

Mr Shalom, a resident of Bnei Brak, was driving home when he was stopped by the gunman, who then opened fire on his vehicle at point-blank range.

The third victim, Mr. Yehezkel, was identified as a yeshiva student who had taken his two-year-old son in his stroller for an evening stroll.

Authorities said he was shot while trying to protect the child.

The gunman was identified as Diaa Hamarsheh, 26, a Palestinian woman from the West Bank town of Ya’bad near Jenin.

Authorities said he arrived in Bnei Brak in a vehicle and disembarked at 7:56 p.m. on Jabotinsky Street, Israel Channel 13 reported.

He first drew his rifle outside a store and attempted to fire at passersby, narrowly missing a pedestrian and another man on a bicycle.

Hamarsheh then moved to Bialik Street but found no one there.

He then went to a nearby grocery store where he shot the two Ukrainian nationals.

He then continued his shooting and killed Mr Shalom, who was driving by in his car.

He proceeded to Herzl Street where he shot Mr. Yehezkel.

Two officers, including Mr Khoury, then confronted him on motorbikes. While Mr Khoury was being shot, Hamarsheh was shot dead by the other police officer.

Police said on Wednesday Hamarsheh’s brother was arrested after raids on their home in the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack in a statement, saying the killing of civilians “only leads to further worsening of the situation and instability that we all aspire to, especially as we approach the holy month of Ramadan and Christian and Jewish holidays.” “.

In a statement, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh welcomed the attack.

“We are proud of the Palestinian people and the free people of the nation in the face of the heroic onslaught that has struck all of Israel,” he said.

Tuesday’s attack is the third in a week as a fresh wave of violence continues.

On Sunday, two gunmen killed two young police officers in a shootout in downtown Hadera.

Last week, a lone gunman killed four people in a ram and knife attack in the southern city of Beersheba.

Additional reporting by agencies

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