Jerusalem (Israel), March 23: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett vowed on Tuesday to take a tough stance against "terrorists" after an Israeli Arab citizen killed four people in the country's southern city of Beersheba.
"We will take strong actions against terrorists," Bennett said in a statement following an evaluation of the attack and consultations with Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev and Israel's police chief Kobi Shabtai.
"We will also pursue and apprehend those who aided and abetted them," he said, adding the security forces are "on maximum alert."
Bennett also offered his condolences to the victims' families and expressed his concern for those who were injured in the attack.
Four people were killed and two others injured on Tuesday in Beersheba by a knife-wielding Arab assailant who was later shot dead by two armed civilians passing by, according to the Israeli police.
The assailant fatally stabbed a woman in a gas station after getting out of his car near a shopping mall. He then went back to his car and ran over a bike rider before stepping out of the car again to fatally stab another man and woman, the police said in a statement.
The state-owned Kan TV news reported that the attacker is an Israeli Arab citizen, a Bedouin resident of the village of Hura in the Negev Desert. According to Shabtai, the suspect had previously served prison terms for attempting to join the Islamic State militant group in Syria.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which lasted about eight minutes and is the deadliest in Israel in the past few years.
Police forces were deployed throughout Israel to "avoid copycat attacks," Shabtai told reporters during a press briefing.
Investigation on the attack was still underway, according to Shabtai.