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Israeli police: American kills chef at hotel

Friday, October 05, 2012 | 5:06 PM    

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JERUSALEM (AP) — An American man who lost his job at a Red Sea hotel in Israel shot dead a chef at the resort on Friday, then was killed himself in a shootout with Israeli commandos, police said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld identified the suspect as William Hershkovitz, 23, of Poughkeepsie, New York, and said his family in the US had been notified.

The motive for the attack in the resort city of Eilat was still under investigation, police said. But the head of the Oranim work and study programme said it occurred days after Hershkovitz lost his job at the Leonardo Club Hotel. 

The attacker entered the hotel on Friday, snatched a gun from a hotel security guard and fired several shots, killing the chef, Rosenfeld said.

Police and army anti-terror units then surrounded the building and told guests to stay in their rooms. The gunman shot at special forces as they entered the hotel, prompting them to return fire and kill him, Rosenfeld said.

Family members, meanwhile, mourned the death of the chef, Abed Armando, 33 in an Arab village in northern Israel. They told Channel 2 TV that he was in Eilat because he wanted to work as a chef. 

Hershkovitz arrived in Israel about two months ago to participate in the Oranim programme, which combines Hebrew study, travel and work at the hotel with a university course on hotel management.

Yuval Arad, a programme spokesman, said instructors met with Hershkovitz on Thursday following complaints by the hotel staff.

“It was decided ... that he will leave the project and return on Tuesday to the US,” Arad said in a statement, without elaborating.

Ofer Gutman, head of the Oranim programme, which is sponsored partially by the Israeli government, said earlier that it was a mutual decision to remove Hershkovitz from his job at the hotel, and the programme was planning to reassign him to another workplace.

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