5 confirmed dead in a gunman attack in Israeli city

A gunman killed at least five people in an attack in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, on Tuesday, paramedics said.

A video broadcast on Israeli TV showed a man in black with an assault rifle walking around the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town.

Witnesses said he shot at balconies, people on the street and a car. Ambulance spokesperson Zaki Heller said that the “terrorist was liquidated.” It was not immediately clear who shot him.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz cited police who said the assailant was a 26-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank. They added that he had been arrested in 2013 and served a six-month sentence.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened an emergency meeting with top security officials on Tuesday.

The attack comes after the so-called Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the killing of two people in the Israeli city of Hadera on Sunday. Just last week a man killed four people in a stabbing spree in the Negev desert.

The Times of Israel reported that the total of 11 victims killed in the recent attacks constitute the the highest number of people killed in such a period within the country since the suicide bombing of a bus in 2006 killed 11 people.

Earlier on Tuesday, police carried out raids on at least 12 Arab-Israeli homes. The assailants in the previous two attacks were both Arab Israeli citizens. Before the raids, Bennett called the rise in violence a “new situation.”

Who is behind the attacks?

It was not yet clear who was responsible for Tuesday’s shooting, but IS claimed responsibility for the two previous incidents. The death toll over the past few days marks a recent high point for terrorist attacks.

Israeli officials said the Islamic holy month of Ramadan was set to begin on Saturday evening.

In 2021, tensions following the attempted eviction of a Palestinian family from a Jerusalem neighborhood sparked clashes with police, which eventually spilled over into an 11-day war that left 243 Palestinians dead and 12 people in Israel.

Sunday’s attack also coincided with a regional summit held in Israel, which saw representatives from several Arab states that recently normalized relations with the country come together.

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