The soldier was lightly injured in the attack, with wounds to his head, apparently inflicted with a pair of scissors.
Another person was injured as well.
Magen David Adom paramedics provided first aid at the scene, the rescue service reported.
After grabbing the soldier’s weapon, the attacker fled to a nearby apartment building, where he was cornered by police.
He was shot after he opened fire at the officers, police said.
The attacker was identified in media sources as Amjad Hatem al-Jundi, from the West Bank town of Yatta in the southern West Bank, and in Israel illegally. His age was listed by Israeli news site Ynet as 19 years old and by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency as 24.
”From initial information, the suspect got off the bus in Kiryat Gat, identified a soldier and stole his gun,” the Israel Police said in a statement. “The soldier clashed with the suspect and was lightly stabbed in the head.
“The suspect fled the scene with the soldier’s weapon toward an apartment building. Kiryat Gat policeman from the Southern District arrived at the scene minutes later, and confronted the suspect, who apparently fired at them. The police officers returned fire and terminated him. There were no injuries of our forces.”
The statement said that the attack was likely nationalistically motivated but that authorities had yet to determine the identity of the assailant.