A terror attack in Be'er Sheva has claimed the lives of four individuals after an Arab attacked civilians at a gas station in the southern city of Be'er Sheva.
Three women and one man were murdered in the attack and two additional victims were moderately wounded before being evacuated to the city's Soroka Medical Center.
According to initial reports, the terrorist arrived at the gas station where he stabbed a female employee before getting into his car and running down a bicycle rider. He then stabbed a number of others after exiting the vehicle.
A bus driver who witnessed the attack fired at the terrorist, neutralizing the man, who was later declared dead at the scene.
According to police sources, the terrorist, identified as Mohammad Jalab Abu al-Quian was an Israeli citizen from the Bedouin town of Hura.
Maariv reported that the man had made attempts to join ISIS in Syria and was recently released after serving a four-year prison term.
An eyewitness recounted that, "The terrorist jumped on the first woman he saw and stabbed her. After leaving her, he moved on to others, stabbing them as well. A bus driver arrived at the scene and caught up with him."
Security barriers have been set up at exit points from the city in an attempt to nab other participants in the attack.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, saying he was "praying for the speedy recovery of the wounded."
"I have now conducted a situational assessment and consultation with the Minister of Internal Security and the Commissioner of Police following the attack," said Bennett, praising the bus driver who shot the attacker, for his "resourcefulness and courage that prevented additional casualties."
"The security forces are on maximum alert. We will work hard against terrorist operatives. We will pursue and obtain their aides as well," added Bennett.
Meretz MK deputy minister Yair Golan called for calm, blaming "extreme factors in our society" for the attack and saying these "should not be allowed to determine our [response]."
"The overwhelming majority of moderates [in Arab society] must be empowered while suppressing the extremists...," continued Golan. "We will pursue the terrorists to the bitter end, bringing security and peace to the Negev and to all of Israel. My condolences to the families," he concluded.
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel "would continue to use every means at its disposal to ensure the safety of its citizens."
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu called for taking a hard stance during the operation to apprehend the terrorists involved in the attack. "Bennett and Lapid must put aside [their] political considerations and focus all their efforts on capturing the terrorists and restoring security to the residents of Be'er Sheva and the South," said Netanyahu.
Minister of the Interior Ayelet Shaked wrote on Twitter: "A terrible attack. The heart cries out...A vicious, subhuman terrorist murdered innocent people. Sending my condolences to the victims' families and wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded."
Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar called for strengthening of Israel's rule in the Negev. "A difficult and painful evening...The criminal attack underlines our responsibility to strengthen the Negev. Only the [brave behavior of a civilian] prevented a greater disaster from taking place," he wrote.
Yamina's Matan Kahana also responded to the incident, calling it a "...shocking attack carried out by a heinous terrorist."
"The Israeli government will act resolutely to fight terrorism," he promised.
Chairman of the Religious Zionist Party Bezalel Smotrich referred to the "nationalist extremism among Israeli Arabs as a "ticking time bomb."
"You have to recognize it for what it is, call it by its name, and treat it with zero tolerance," he stated.
"We don't need the 'two sides to the equation,' the 'justifications of discrimination' or the rest of the nonsense. It starts with our leadership, continues with the security establishment, the state prosecution, and finally our courts. We need to take a hard-handed approach [to terrorism], displaying zero understanding and no tolerance," continued Smotrich.
Chairman of the Noam party, MK Avi Maoz, added, "The leniency demonstrated by Prime Minister Bennett and his partners from the radical left [are responsible] for attacks, stabbings, and [Jewish] blood. The Jewish people demand that the government comes down strong on terrorists - not Jewish settlers."
MK Miki Zohar of the Likud blamed the government's "abandonment of the Negev" for the attack. "My heart goes out to the families of those killed and wounded," he added.
The Likud's Miri Regev wrote on Twitter, "...A murderous attack that proves the weakness of this government and the loss of control in the Negev. May the memory of the victims be for a blessing," while MK Eli Cohen noted that, "after the Negev was abandoned, the result was not long in coming and today's deadly attack is proof of this."
"Blessings to the bus driver who neutralized the terrorist. Terrorism must not be allowed to raise its head and every terrorist should know that his end is near," Cohen wrote on Twitter.
Knesset Speaker Miki Levy joined others in wishing the wounded a speedy recovery, praising the bus driver who "eliminated the [terrorist], preventing additional casualties." "May we know better days," he wrote.
Communications Minister Yoaz Handel said "[Israel] would exert a heavy price from those trying to harm its civilians" during an interview with radio 103FM, adding that, "the defense establishment knows how to handle the situation."
A spokesman for the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, in the meantime, praised the attack, calling it a "response to the crimes perpetrated by the terrorist Zionist regime."