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Israel bank raider and victims identified

    From the scene (Photo: Israel Police)
    From the scene (Photo: Israel Police)

    Israeli police have identified the man responsible for the bank raid shootings that led to the death of four civilians in Be'er Sheva on Monday.

    Itamar Alon, a reservist captain for the Israeli Defence Force, took a number of hostages during the attack at the Hapoalim Bank on Jabotinsky Street.

    Alon, 40, had been refused an overdraft loan by the bank for around £1,000 (NIS 6,000).

    The Be'er Sheva resident killed four people, released one woman hostage and then shot himself after failed negotiations with police.

    Another victim, shot four times in the back and stomach, is said to be in critical condition.

    The victims include two bank employees who are thought to have been specifically targeted by the shooter - branch manager Avner Cohen, a 44-year-old father-of-three; and deputy manager Meir Alon, a 40-year-old father-of-three.

    Idan Savri, 22, was also killed. He had been opening an account at the bank. Mother-of-three Anat Ben-Haim, 34, was killed by the gunman as she attempted to deposit money into an account.

    At least three people were injured and treated at the city's Soroka Medical Center. Magen David Adom emergency service workers attended the scene.

    Alon, a former school security guard, was once decorated for shooting a terrorist who attacked an IDF base in 2002.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the incident as a “great tragedy”.

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