A day after a man went on a shooting rampage at a bus station in southern Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of the "continued struggle" amid a wave of violence, but asked people not to take justice into their own hands. The remarks alluded to the death of an Eritrean migrant who was mistaken for a second attacker in the incident. Abtom Zarhom, 29, was shot by a security guard and then beaten by a mob. He later died of his injuries. Video of the incident was broadcast on Israeli television, stoking already-high tensions.
"A crowd who finds himself at the site (of an attack) should evacuate the area and let the emergency services do their job," Netanyahu said in remarks Monday. Israel is "a country of law. No one will take the law into his own hands. That's the first rule," he said. The gunman killed an Israeli soldier and wounded 10 more people before police shot him dead. "We are in a continued struggle," Netanyahu said, adding that "this thing sometimes creates friction between citizens in the locations of the attacks."
Though the attack in Beer Sheva comes at a time of increased violence between Israelis and Palestinians, it isn't clear if the gunman was motivated by those tensions. The gunman, Mohannad Al-Oqbi, was an Arab Bedouin citizen of Israel. Bedouins are their own ethnic subgroup, and some, but not all, Bedouins identify as Palestinian. Beer Sheva is located in Israel and not in Palestinian territory.
Police have not discussed a motive, but some Bedouin groups have been at odds, at times violently, with Israeli authorities over issues of their own, according to the website of the Knesset, Israel's parliament. As the Eritrean man lay on the ground bleeding, people rattled by the shooting kicked and beat him and hit him with a bench, cell phone video showed.
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