An 18-year-old Palestinian was killed by Kiryat Gat police on Wednesday after he stabbed a soldier and snatched his rifle before running for shelter in a nearby building.
The soldier was lightly wounded after Amjad al Jundi, from the town of Yata near Hebron, engaged him after getting off a bus. It has emerged that he stayed in Israel illegally.
A female Kiryat Gat resident struggled with the assailant after he seized the weapon from the soldier and entered her home while fleeing. According to her relative, he tried to shoot but there were no bullets left in the soldier's cartridge that he snatched.
"She came back from shopping, opened the door and apparently he tried to open it," the relative recounted. "She fought him to prevent him from opening the door. He came in and tried to shoot her, but there were no bullets in the cartridge. Then he went into the kitchen and wanted to get a knife. She struggled with him, screamed and fled to a neighbor, and was miraculously saved." The relative added that police killed Al Jundi at the entrance to the apartment.
The attack in the southern city is the third in the space of a few hours, preceded by a rock ambush in the West Bank and a stabbing attack in the Jerusalem's Old City.
"An initial investigation revealed that the suspect got off the bus in Kiryat Gat, saw the soldier, and stole his weapon," a police spokesperson told Ynet. "The soldier struggled with the attacker, and suffered a minor stab wound to his head as a result. The suspect then sprinted into a nearby residential building. Soldiers from the Kiryat Gat station arrived on the scene within a number of minutes and reached the suspect when he apparently began opening fire on them. The police returned fire and he was killed. Police believe that the attack has nationalistic motives."
Medics and Paramedics from Magen David Adom provided initial treatment and evacuated two people who were lightly injured and fully conscious.