Bennett posts condolences on Twitter, says terrorists and their helpers will be chased down and prosecuted; Ra’am party says Arab citizens reject violence, calls for tolerance

An eight-minute long killing spree in Be’er Sheva ended with the death of four innocent civilians, the wounding of four others and the death of the assailant in one of the most deadly terror attacks in five years.

המחבל, מוחמד אבו אלקיעאן
Alleged terrorist, Muhammad Abu al-Qian

The alleged terrorist, an extreme Islamist teacher and preacher who had served a four-year prison term for attempting to join the Islamic State in Syria in 2015, was an Israeli citizen and Bedouin.

Across the board his murderous act was condemned by political leaders, Bedouins, his tribe and many others.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett conveyed his condolences to the families of the four victims killed in the alleged terror attack in Beer Sheba. “I pray for the injured”, he wrote on Twitter, “the civilians that shot the terrorist showed bravery and avoided additional victims. We’ll act harshly against terrorists. We’ll chase them and reach all their collaborators”.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid responded as well: “I send my condolences to the families whose loved ones were murdered in this horrible attack in Beer Sheba”.

In addition, Lapid posted on his Twitter that “Anyone who tries to harm innocent civilians needs to know that Israel will find them and hold them accountable”.

תיעוד רגעי נטרול המחבל
Taking down the terrorist

Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister, made a statement attesting that “the IDF and security forces will act and activate all resources to avoid terrorists attacks”. Gantz added that “we’ll make sure that anyone who encourages the recent attacks or supports them- will pay the price”.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned what he called a “murderous attack”. However, Netanyahu criticized the current government’s strategy, claiming it does not return security to the Negev “They must avoid all political motives,” he said. alluding to the coalition partnership with the Islamist Ra’am party, which represents the Bedouin constituency.

Ra’am issued also condemned the attack. “Arab citizens of the state are law abiding and reject from their midst anyone using violence against fellow citizens,” the party said in a statement adding the need to preserve the delicate fabric of Israeli society and to promote tolerance at this difficult time.

המחבל עם הסכין, המחבל לאחר שנורה
The terrorist with the knife, the terrorist after being shot down

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group praised the deadly stabbing attack. “We applaud the heroic attack. Resistance actions will deter Israel. The attack is a response to the Zionist terror crimes in the Negev”, the group said, “Israel is learning again that our nation won’t surrender,”

Israel has also received condolences from the international community. Washington strongly condemned the “abhorrent … terrorist attack,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, offering condolences to the victims and their families.

“We stand ready to provide support to the Israeli government’s efforts to investigate this heinous crime,” Price said at a regular press briefing.
US ambassador to Israel Tom Nides called the incident a “despicable terrorist attack”. “This has to stop! My heart goes out to the victims and their families”, tweeted the ambassador.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss conveyed the kingdoms condolences as well. “The UK stands in solidarity with the people of Israel and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet has begun an interrogation process of individuals who were close to the assailant in order to uncover further evidence. Israeli police forces are on high alert all over Israel, says commissioner Kobi Shabtai.

Right wing demonstrators that arrived at the scene expressed rage towards police commissioner Shabtai, calling him “shameful”.

קובי שבתאי, מפכ"ל המשטרה בזירת האירוע
Kobi Shabtai at the scene of the crime (Photo: Israel Police)


They repeated accusations that a lax policy by the police and the government has allowed criminal and terror actors to operate in the south.

Minister of Public Security Omer Bar-Lev defended Shabtai, calling him a brave commander who is dedicated to ensuring security in the Negev, and insisting that this was not the time and place to attack the commissioner.

Bar-Lev said in a tweet that the police would pursue those involved. “we won’t rest until the national terror is over, we’ll chase down the terrorists wherever they are,” he said on Twitter.

As reported by Ynetnews