Israeli soldier killed, scores injured in Beersheva bus station attack

Israeli soldier killed, scores injured in Beersheva bus station attack

An Israeli soldier has been killed and several other people have been wounded in a gun and knife attack at a bus station in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva.

Israeli soldier killed, scores injured in Beersheva bus station attack

Israeli police said the attacker, thought to be Palestinian, was killed.

Eight Israelis have died in attacks by lone Palestinians this month. More than 40 Palestinians, including several attackers, have been killed.

The upsurge began amid tensions at a flashpoint holy site in East Jerusalem.

Israeli security forces have imposed tighter restrictions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and there have been clashes with Palestinian protesters.

Israel has begun erecting a 5m (16ft) high concrete barrier between the Palestinian district of Jabal Mukaber in East Jerusalem and the neighbouring Jewish Armon Hanatziv.

Israeli officials in Jerusalem insisted the wall was a temporary measure in an area “where there is a history of rock and [petrol bomb] Molotov cocktail throwing at Jewish homes and vehicles”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, separately, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, this week in a bid to help restore calm.

The attack on the Central Bus Station in Beersheva came on Sunday evening.

“One armed terrorist entered the central bus station and shot at a soldier and killed him,” a local police chief, Yoram Levi, was quoted by Haaretz as saying.

“He continued his shooting spree, took the soldier’s gun and continued shooting in the central bus station.

“Forces in the area responded quickly, he managed to escape the central bus station but ran into forces, was shot and killed. In his belongings we found a knife and a pistol with ammunition.”

Initial reports said there had been a second attacker, who was critically wounded, but he is now believed to be an Eritrean migrant. Video footage showed people kicking him and spitting at him as he lay in a pool of blood on the floor.

The city’s Soroka Hospital said it was treating 10 shooting victims – two who arrived in a critical condition, two with serious wounds and the rest with moderate to light wounds.

Among the injured, all said to be in their 20s, were at least four police officers. (AP)

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