Bennett praises civilians who killed terrorist in Beersheba knife attack

The terrorist, an ISIS supporter, has been identified as Muhammad Abu Al-Kiyan, 34, a former prisoner.

By JNS.org and World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised the two civilians who fired on a terrorist knife attacker in Beersheba on Tuesday with their handguns, killing the assailant.

“The civilians who shot the terrorist exhibited alertness and bravery, and prevented additional victims. Security forces at the highest alert. We will act with a strong hand against terrorists. We will pursue and get hold of those who assist them,” he said in a statement.

Arthur Haimov, the bus driver who was credited with shooting the terrorist, discussed his ordeal with Ynet.

“I knew this was a terrorist because I heard people shouting and knew I had to do something because no one else was there,” he said.

“When I approached him, I said ‘drop the knife I won’t hurt you,’ but he did not… He charged at me, and I understood I was in danger and had to fire my weapon.”

Haimov, a married father of five, has been a bus driver for three years following a 20-year service in the IDF, according to Ynet.

The prime minister sent his deepest condolences to the families of the attack’s victims, saying, “I’ve now held a situation assessment and consultations with the Public Security Minister and the Police Inspector General following the attack.”

Four civilians were murdered in the terrorist attack in the city in one of the worst nationalistic incidents in recent years.

The terrorist—a resident of the Bedouin town of Hura—ran over a cyclist before leaving his vehicle and embarking on a stabbing spree near the Big shopping center. He stabbed to death a gas-station employee, and later, two women and a man. Two other civilians were injured.

The terrorist has been identified as Muhammad Abu Al-Kiyan, 34, a former prisoner, reported Kan News. He was known to be a supporter of ISIS and served jail time in Israel.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad welcomed the attack, saying that “resistance operations deter the occupation.”

A spokesman for the terror organization, Tarek Salami, said the attack is “a natural response to the terror crimes of Israel in the occupied Negev,” adding that “Israel should know that our people will not surrender, and that the flag of resistance and jihad will remain hoisted.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: “Those who encourage the latest attacks or support them will pay the price.”

Speaking during a tour of Israel Defense Forces Northern Command, Gantz said the IDF and Israeli security forces will use all available means to prevent future attacks to any extent possible.