Tuesday, May 24th | 24 Iyyar 5782

March 29, 2022 3:36 pm

‘Wave of Murderous Arab Terrorism’: Palestinian Gunman Kills Five in Terror Attack in Bnei Brak

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli security and medical personnel secure the scene of an attack in which people were killed by a gunman on a main street in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, Israel, March 29, 2022. REUTERS/Nir Elias

At least five people were killed in a shooting incident on Tuesday in Bnei Brak, a city on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, first responders said, in what marked the third deadly terror attack in Israel in just over a week, taking the number of victims to a total of eleven.

“Israel is facing a wave of murderous Arab terrorism. My heart is with the families who have lost their loved ones this evening. I am praying for the recovery of the wounded,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated. “The security forces are at work. We will fight terrorism with persistence, diligence and an iron fist.”

“They will not move us from here. We will prevail,” Bennett declared.

According to initial reports, the armed terrorist, driving on a motorcycle on Tuesday evening, opened fire at two different locations in Bnei Brak, a city largely populated by the ultra-Orthodox community. The 27-year-old Palestinian first shot dead a passenger in a car and killed another two on a nearby sidewalk.

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The assailant then moved to different location in Bnei Brak and killed another two people, before two police officers neutralized the attacker — averting what could have been an even “bigger terror attack,” Israeli police spokesperson Eli Levi said, speaking to local media at the scene. One of the two police officers was wounded at the scene and rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries, police said.

The terrorist — Diaa Hamarsheh, from the Palestinian village of Ya’bad in the northern West Bank, located about 12 miles west of Jenin — is understood to have illegally crossed into Israel and has worked at a construction site in Bnei Brak, Israel’s N12 news reported. Hamarsheh previously served a six-month prison sentence in Israel after a conviction on terror ties and illegal sale of weapons.

Magen David Adom medic Menachem Englander, a Bnei Brak resident who encountered the terrorist face-to-face, said he was home when he heard the sound of gunfire.

“I went out onto the street and saw in front of me the terrorist who pointed the weapon at me. Miraculously, he had a restraint on his weapon and he couldn’t fire,” Englander recounted. “I immediately went back home, locked the door and reported it to 911. As soon as the police arrived at the scene and secured the street I went back downstairs, but unfortunately three men in their 30s who suffered gunshot wounds were unconscious, and after medical examinations we had to determine their deaths.”

In response to the recent spate of terror attacks, Bennett is holding a security consultation with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the Public Security Minister, the IDF Chief-of-Staff, Director of the ISA, the Israel Police Inspector General and other officials.

Gantz said that the IDF, the Shin Bet and police will use “all means to restore security to the streets of Israel and a sense of security to the citizens.”

“We have been through difficult times as a people and as a country, in the wake of waves of terror — and we have always won with determination and strength and so it will be this time as well,” Gantz remarked.

The IDF said Tuesday that it will deploy additional troops to West Bank.

The latest attack comes in the wake of two Islamic State-linked attacks over the past week, together taking the lives of a total of eleven victims. On Sunday, a pair of Border Police officers were gunned down by two Israeli Arabs in a coordinated attack that the Islamic State subsequently claimed. Last week, four people were killed in a car-ramming and stabbing spree in Beersheba by an Israeli Arab who was previously imprisoned for supporting the Islamic State.

“Just now hearing reports of another attack in Israel, this time taking the lives of innocent people in Bnei Brak,” Tom Nides, US Ambassador to Israel tweeted. “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. No one should have to endure such heartbreak.”

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