Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv Image Credit: Agency

Bnei Brak, Israel: Five people were killed in gun attacks Tuesday near the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, emergency responders said, in the third fatal gun or knife spree in the Jewish state in a week.

“We unfortunately have to note that five people have died,” said Eli Bin, the head of the Magen David Adom emergency responders, revising up a death toll of two from shootings in two locations of the ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak.

Israeli police later confirmed that security forces had killed an assailant, but did not reveal his identity.

Residents of Bnei Brak and the neighbouring town of Ramat Gan reported that a man had driven around and opened fire at passers-by.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shootings.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he would convene an emergency meeting with top security officials to review the situation.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attacks.

“The killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only lead to further deterioration of the situation,” Abbas said in a statement carried by the Wafa news agency.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned what he called a “terrorist attack”, calling a recent spate of gun and knife violence in Israel “unacceptable.”

“We strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack in Bnei Brak, Israel, that killed five innocent victims,” Blinken said, adding that “this violence is unacceptable. Israelis - like all people around the world - should be able to live in peace and without fear.”