Gunman and 4 others dead in Israeli bank robbery gone wrong


Israeli security gather outside following a bank robbery that escalated into a hostage situation in the Israeli city of Beersheva, on May 20, 2013. Four people were killed and three others wounded in a botched bank heist in southern Israel which ended when a robber who had held a hostage shot himself dead, police said.



An attempted bank robbery in the Israeli city of Beersheba turned deadly on Monday as the assailant killed himself and four other people.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said at least one gunman entered the Bank Hapoalim on Monday when a gunfight broke out and the robber took a woman hostage.

As the situation developed the gunman committed suicide and the hostage was able to walk out of the building with only light wounds.

Three men and a woman were reported among those dead. Police have identified them as bank manager Avner Cohen, his deputy Meir Zitun, Anat Even-Haim and Idan Schnitzer, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Another five people were injured, and four suffered from shock after the Monday afternoon shooting.

One of the injured men was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center to undergo surgery.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the would-be robber was enraged by the bank's refusal to extend his credit line. He has been identified as Itamar Alon, a former border police officer, according to Haaretz.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the families of those killed in the heist and labeled the event a terrorist attack.

"I can't remember events like this - at least not in recent years. We can't let a terror attack like this happen again," he said.

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