Israeli police say a bungled bank robbery in a southern city left four people dead before the gunman took his own life.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says four people were killed when at least one gunman entered the bank in the city of Beersheba on Monday.

A gunfight apparently broke out and the robber took one hostage, but as a standoff developed, he committed suicide.

Rosenfeld says the hostage, who was lightly wounded in the shooting, walked out of the bank.

Israel TV footage showed several ambulances near the bank, which was cordoned off by police.