Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah paramedics at scene of Bnei Brak terror attack.

Five Israelis were reported murdered Tuesday night in a multi-site terrorist shooting attack near Hashnayim Street in the haredi city of Bnei Brak.

Israel Police said the fifth victim was a 32-year-old police officer from the motorcycle team who responded to the attack, and who neutralized the terrorist.


Police Sergeant Major Amir Khoury of Nof HaGalil, an Israeli Christian Arab who served in the motorcycle division at the Bnei Brak precinct, was initially reported in critical condition and evacuated to nearby Beilinson Medical Center. He lost his fight for life shortly after his arrival at the hospital.

Israel Police said notice was given to his family. The hero police officer is survived by his parents, two sisters and a brother.

Two foreign workers and two residents of Bnei Brak were also killed.

The first attack took place on Bialik Street, where three people were shot. The attacker then continued to fire at people on the street, shooting two more people on Herzl Street, on the corner of Jabotinsky. The terrorist began by shooting at drivers in passing cars.

The terrorist, who was riding a motorcycle and using an assault rifle, was reportedly shot and killed on Megadim Street, in nearby Ramat Gan, by a police officer.

First Terrorist Identified
The shooter has been identified as Dia’a Hassan Hamarshi, a convicted 27-year-old terrorist from the Samaria town of Ya’bed, who served six months in an Israeli prison in 2013 for membership in a terrorist organization and weapons trafficking, according to Israel’s Channel 13 News.

Dia’a was a member of the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terrorist organization. Fatah, the leading faction in the Palestinian Authority, is headed by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Dia’a was allegedly working illegally in the area. Given his citizenship, he must have received some type of help in crossing the border into Israel.

Hebrew-language media reported a second suspect was arrested at the scene.

The municipalities of Bnei Brak and Ramat Gan instructed all residents to remain at home “until further notice from the police or the municipality.”

Medic Confronted by Terrorist
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Akiva Kauffman said he was riding his emergency e-bike when he heard the gunshots. “I rushed over to the scene and began treating one person in critical condition who was then taken to the hospital.”

“Our Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit was active at the scene treating multiple people for emotional shock as a result of the shooting incidents,” said United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Avi Fishman added.

MDA EMT Menachem Englander who treated the victims of the terror attack, lives on Hashnayim Street, and was at home when the shooting started.

“I immediately went out to the street and saw a terrorist pointing a weapon at me. By a miracle his weapon jammed and he couldn’t shoot. I immediately went back in my house, locked my door and reported to the emergency dispatch center.

“Once the police arrived to the scene and cleared it I went back downstairs. Unfortunately, three men in their 30s were unresponsive and suffering from gunshot wounds, and after medical checks, we were forced to pronounce them deceased.”

Tensions Skyrocketing
Overall, five people were killed, as well as several others suffering from shock. There are conflicting reports if the terrorist is dead and how many terrorists were involved.

Within the past seven days, including Tuesday night’s attack, 11 Israelis have been murdered by Arab terrorists — the largest number of victims since a suicide bomber killed 11 people in a 2006 attack on a bus in Tel Aviv.

Local residents swarmed into the streets at the scenes of the attack, with dozens chanting “Bennett Go Home!” Residents were being asked to remain indoors while police search for additional possible terrorists in the area, but many ignored the directive, gathering to express their outrage.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shin Bet director Ronen Bar, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and others for an emergency security consultation.

The full Israeli Security Cabinet is scheduled to meet on Wednesday afternoon.

Land Day on Wednesday
The attack comes one day before the so-called “Land Day” commemoration by Arabs in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, marking the Israeli government expropriation of land in the Galilee on March 30, 1976. Massive riots broke out, leading to the deaths of six Arab citizens by Israeli forces.

Arabs use Land Day to protest not only the government’s expropriation of Galilee land, but also to express their rage and hate for the United Nations’ designation of land to recreate the Jewish State of Israel. According to the Qatar-based Aljazeera news outlet, “Land Day presents an opportunity not only to mark a past event, but also to think about creative and resilient ways to further resist Israeli land theft.”

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins April 2 this year, is an annual trigger for terrorist violence against the Jewish State.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.