Israeli forces operating in the West Bank on Wednesday arrested five Palestinians allegedly involved in a deadly shooting attack in central Israel, where a Palestinian gunman on a motorcycle used an assault rifle to kill five people.
Police identified the shooter as Diaa Hamarsheh, 27, from the Israeli-occupied West Bank village of Yabad. Police shot and killed him late Tuesday, putting an end to the shooting rampage.
In a statement, the military said the suspects were being questioned. The Palestinian Prisoner's Club, a group that represents current and former Palestinian prisoners, said those arrested were Hamarsheh's relatives.
The incident Tuesday was the third attack of its kind ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The previous two attacks, carried out by Palestinian citizens of Israel who were inspired by ISIS, have raised concerns of a new round of violence ahead of a sensitive period where three major Muslim, Jewish and Christian holidays converge.
Israel ramped up its security presence both in Israeli cities as well as around the West Bank in a bid to snuff out any further violence, The Associated Press reported. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was set to hold a meeting of his Security Cabinet later Wednesday, after convening his top security officials shortly after Tuesday's attack.
“We are dealing with a new wave of terror,” Bennett said in a statement. “As in other waves, we will prevail.”
Israeli authorities have not yet determined whether the attacks were organized by militant groups or whether the attackers acted individually.
Tuesday's shootings occurred at two locations in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox city just east of Tel Aviv. Police said a preliminary investigation found the gunman was armed with an assault rifle and opened fire on passersby before he was shot by officers at the scene.