Nafez abu Alkiyan, a relative of Mohammed abu Alkiyan who stabbed four people to death and injured two others in Beersheba on Tuesday, called on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the rest of the government to "restore governance" to the Negev, saying "there is a lot to fix." He also asked the government to act with restraint.
In an interview with KAN News, Nafez stressed that his family was in "total shock" when they heard about the attack, saying "this does not reflect the family, it does not reflect the town. This reflects only him."
"We serve, work in the state. This is our state. When people ask me, I always say 'I am a citizen of Israel' and afterward I say Bedouin. This is my state and we'll protect the state," he added.
Nafez said he knew Prime Minister Naftali Bennett from IDF Officer Training school in 1993, and called on him to do whatever necessary to bring order to the Negev.
He stressed that as regional chief of security and emergency first-responder for the educational system, he knew Mohammed's family as being normative and financially stable.
קרוב משפחתו של המחבל, נאפז אבו אלקיעאן, ל-@ItayBlumental: "קיבלנו את הפיגוע בהלם טוטאלי, זה לא משקף את המשפחה ואת היישוב. אנחנו ממשיכים לשרת את המדינה, זו המדינה שלנו. קוראים לרה"מ להחזיר את המשילות לנגב" #חדשותהערב pic.twitter.com/vJ46SNCmqs— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) March 22, 2022
Mohammed's actions were inexplicable, he acted alone and his motivation was unclear, Nafez said.
He stressed that he wanted to send a clear message.
"We are in the State of Israel, under the rule of law. There is ongoing cooperation between the Jewish and Bedouin communities and my message is to invest here."
He recommended to the mayor of Hura that all of its schools dedicate one hour on Wednesday in order to talk about the attack and instill proper values.
"We are against violence and we support security forces, the state and the government," he concluded.
According to police, the terrorist first ran over a man riding on a bicycle before driving to a gas station, exiting his vehicle and stabbing a woman. He then returned to the car, drove to a nearby shopping center, exited the car once more and stabbed another two people - a man and a woman. He then returned to the vehicle, drove away and crashed into another vehicle, exiting his own and stabbing another person before being shot and killed by a civilian passerby.
He was first arrested in 2015, along with a number of other suspects, for supporting and promoting ISIS to students at a school he taught at. He was released from jail in 2019.