U.S. tourist guns down Eilat resident, killed by soldiers

(JTA) — A tourist from the United States was killed by Israeli soldiers shortly after he gunned down a hotel worker in Eilat and holed up in a hotel room.

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Israel Radio reported that the soldiers rushed to the hotel Friday morning after the American tourist used the firearm of a security guard at Eilat’s Leonardo Club Hotel to kill an employee in the hotel’s kitchen.

The soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces anti-terrorist unit surrounded the room in which the man, reported to be in his 20s, was holed up after the shooting, the report said. Police negotiated with him to surrender but the soldiers shot and killed him after he opened fire on police negotiators.

The man reportedly was in Israel as part of an exchange program for American young people and had recently been fired as a hotel employee. He reportedly arrived in the morning hours to hotel’s kitchen, where he began fighting with the employee whom he killed. 

He reportedly snatched a firearm from a female security guard who arrived at the kitchen to break up the fight.

He escaped with the fire arm and holed up in one of the rooms, police said, adding that he did not take any hostages with him.

The incident may have started over a financial dispute between the two dead men, according to Israel Radio.

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