With Israel on High Alert, Man Shot Dead After Grabbing Weapon From Soldier

The man, who was known to welfare services, carried a toy pistol when he snatched the soldier's weapon at a bus stop in Israel's south, according to police officials

Incident scene, Ashkelon, Israel on Sunday
Incident scene, Ashkelon, Israel on SundayCredit: Ilan Assayag

A Jewish Israeli was shot dead after seizing a weapon from a soldier at a bus stop in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Sunday, Israeli police said.

According to Israel's military, the man was shot after a senior military commander who happened to be at the scene witnessed the hijacking and confronted him walking with the stolen weapon.

Incident scene, Ashkelon, Israel on Sunday

Col. Eliav Elbaz, commander of the Israel Defense Forces' Binyamin Brigade in the West Bank, ordered the man to stop and subsequently shot him.

The man, who was mentally ill and known to the police based on documents found on his body, was carrying a toy pistol which he used to threaten the female soldier with before snatching her weapon, police said.

The man, in his 20s from a village in southern Israel, was familiar to authorities for frequently escaping various institutions. In this case, according to police, he had come from his home.

At this stage there is no intention to question the military commander who, according to a source, believed the man to be a terrorist when he shot him.

The incident comes after a wave of terror claimed the lives of 14 Israelis in two weeks, putting the country on high alert during the month of Ramadan and upcoming Passover holiday.

On Thursday, a Palestinian gunman from Jenin opened fire on patrons at a bar in Tel Aviv, killing three and wounding several in the latest attack. Subsequent military raids of the attacker's home left one Palestinian dead and at least a dozen others wounded.

On Sunday, a Palestinian woman was shot dead in Hebron by Israeli forces after stabbing a Border Police officer, Israeli authorities said.

This follows the fatal shooting of another Palestinian woman near Bethlehem, who Israeli forces said approached them in a "suspicious manner" before being fired at.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Election ad featuring Yair Lapid in Rahat, the largest Arab city in Israel's Negev region.

This Bedouin City Could Decide Who Is Israel's Next Prime Minister

Dr. Claris Harbon in the neighborhood where she grew up in Ashdod.

A Women's Rights Lawyer Felt She Didn't Belong in Israel. So She Moved to Morocco

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

'It Was Real Shock to Move From a Little Muslim Village, to a Big Open World'

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister