A Palestinian man and an Israeli soldier killed each other in a Israeli mall in the city of Carmiel, in the northern part of the country, on Wednesday.

According to Israeli sources, Jawad Rabia from the village of Deir al-Assad (Israel claims it is called ‘Nahf’) next to Carmiel, entered the mall and tried to attack two uniformed Israeli soldiers with a knife.

He was shot by Aleksandr Iakiminskyi, a 19-year-old soldier from Nahariya, who was stabbed but managed to shoot his attacker before dying on the scene. The other soldier was wounded and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Iakiminskyi was an active duty Israeli soldier from the 188th Armored Brigade, which was stationed in Gaza in November 2023 during one of the bloodiest periods of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

The Brigade took part in destroying to rubble the port of Gaza, the only major port in the Gaza Strip that had been used for fishing vessels and aid ships to dock.

The alleged assailant, Jawad Rabia, had never been in any trouble before, and his mother, brother and sister, surprised to see news reports that Jawad had been killed, arrived at the mall, where they were promptly blindfolded, handcuffed and arrested by Israeli police, who took them to an unknown destination.

During Israel’s 272-day long assault on Gaza, which has displaced over 90% of Gaza’s population and destroyed over 80% of Gaza’s infrastructure, in addition to killing nearly 40,000 Palestinians — almost half of whom are children — Israelis have largely been able to return to life as normal, going to shopping malls and beaches in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Carmiel and other Israeli cities and towns.

The Hamas movement issued a statement saying that the attack “reflects a natural response to the crimes of the occupation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Acts of resistance in Jenin, in Tulkarem and within the borders of the Green Line have humiliated the occupation, and they are the only way to defend the Palestinian nation.”

Following the incident, Israeli police invaded the village of Deir al-Asad (Nahf) and ordered a closure. They abducted a number of family members from Rabia’s family and ransacked the family home. Deputy Superintendent Itzik Abu Hatzeira then issued an order to demolish the family home of Rabia.