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Friday's live updates: Milhem shooting (closed)

Milhem’s relative: We would like to have known his motive

Tel Aviv shooter killed in gunfight in Arara; security forces had ‘wanted to take Milhem alive’; politicians praise operation; police probing whether Milhem was in IS sleeper cell; victim’s father: I knew we would get him

  • A man points out at bullet holes at the site where Israeli special forces shot Nashat Milhem, who murdered three people in a Tel Aviv shooting spree last week, in the  northern town of Arara, on January 8, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ)
    A man points out at bullet holes at the site where Israeli special forces shot Nashat Milhem, who murdered three people in a Tel Aviv shooting spree last week, in the northern town of Arara, on January 8, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ)
  • The body of Nashat Milhem, in a photograph released by Israeli security forces, January 8, 2016 (Channel 2)
    The body of Nashat Milhem, in a photograph released by Israeli security forces, January 8, 2016 (Channel 2)
  • Simta bar on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv puts on a memorial to the two victims of a New year's Day shooting attack there, as it reopens on January 6, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 2)
    Simta bar on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv puts on a memorial to the two victims of a New year's Day shooting attack there, as it reopens on January 6, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 2)
  • Israeli security forces search for the gunman after a shooting attack at a pub in central Tel Aviv, on Friday, January 1, 2016. (Photo by Esther Rubyan/Flash90)
    Israeli security forces search for the gunman after a shooting attack at a pub in central Tel Aviv, on Friday, January 1, 2016. (Photo by Esther Rubyan/Flash90)
  • Nashat Milhem, the Arab Israeli man who killed three Israelis in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. (Israel Police)
    Nashat Milhem, the Arab Israeli man who killed three Israelis in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. (Israel Police)

The Times of Israel live blogged Friday’s events as they unfolded.

Shin Bet: Tel Aviv gunman shot dead after opened fire on forces

The Shin Bet says Nashat Milhem, the Arab-Israeli gunman who killed three Israelis in Tel Aviv, was shot dead by security forces after he opened fire on troops on Friday afternoon.

Undated photograph of Nashat Milhem (Channel 10 screenshot)

Undated photograph of Nashat Milhem (Channel 10 screenshot)

The security service adds that Milhem, 29, was firing with the same weapon he used in the killings in Tel Aviv last week.

Milhem had been on the run for a week.

PM praises security forces for bringing down Tel Aviv gunman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises the security forces for bringing down the Arab Israeli gunman who killed three people in Tel Aviv last Friday.

Police suspect Tel Aviv gunman was member of IS cell

The security forces are investigating whether Nashat Milhem, the Tel Aviv gunman shot dead in Wadi Ara on Friday, was part of an Islamic State cell, Channel 2 reports.

The Shin Bet suspicion that Milhem may have been an operative of the terror group is based on interrogations of several detainees arrested by security forces for allegedly assisting the gunman.

Ya’alon: Killing of Milhem proves Israel will hunt down those who harm it

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says the killing of Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem by security forces “proves once again that the State of Israel will hunt down those who seek to harm it.”

Israel, Ya’alon is quoted by Channel 2 as saying, will go after those who act against it “anywhere inside and outside the country.”

The body of Nashat Milhem, in a photograph released by Israeli security forces, January 8, 2015 (Channel 2)

The body of Nashat Milhem, in a photograph released by Israeli security forces, January 8, 2015 (Channel 2)

Arabs in northern Israel praise Tel Aviv gunman

A Facebook post shows Arabs in northern Israel praising Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem as a “martyr.”

“With our souls and our blood, we will sacrifice our lives for you oh martyr,” the crowd is chanting in Arabic.

The location where the footage was filmed is identified only as somewhere in the Wadi Ara area.

— Lee Gancman

Liberman: Radicals in Arab community must be rooted out

Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman commends the security forces for killing Nashat Milhem, but warns that arrests in Israel’s Arab community connected to case show Tel Aviv shootings were not a lone-wolf attack.

“The fact that there are other persons who assisted the terrorist puts an end to ridiculous statements of one crazy lone-wolf attacker,” the Walla website quotes Liberman as saying.

“This calls for a root canal treatment of radicalized forces in Arab society in Israel.”

Milhem ‘had been in Arara for all of past week’

Nashat Milhem had been hiding out in his home town of Arara ever since fleeing Tel Aviv after killing three people there last week, Ynet’s military analyst Ron Ben-Yishai reports.

He had apparently changed hiding places once or twice, and may have been helped by relatives and/or members of the Israeli Islamic Movement.

Father of Tel Aviv shooting victim: I had no doubt they’d get him

The father of one of Nashat Milhem’s victims in last Friday’s shooting in Tel Aviv says he had no doubt that the security forces would bring down the gunman in a short space of time.

Alon Bakal, one the victims of a January 1, 2016 shooting attack in Tel Aviv, seen outside the Simta bar on December 20, 2015 (Courtesy Facebook)

Alon Bakal, one the victims of a January 1, 2016 shooting attack in Tel Aviv, seen outside the Simta bar on December 20, 2015 (Courtesy Facebook)

“This is our consolation, and we are pleased that none of our own were hurt in the neutralization. I was sure we would get him,” says David Bakal, whose son Alon was killed in the shooting at the Simta Bar where he worked.

David Bakal speaks to reporters at Ichilov Hospital after his son Alon, 26, was killed in a shooting attack in central Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016 (screen capture)

David Bakal speaks to reporters at Ichilov Hospital after his son Alon, 26, was killed in a shooting attack in central Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016 (screen capture)

‘No doubt’ that Milhem acted out of ‘nationalistic’ motive

Channel 2 quotes security officials saying there was “no doubt” that Milhem opened fire in Tel Aviv last week “for nationalistic reasons,” rather than for criminal or any other motive.

Tellingly, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon had referred to Milhem earlier Friday as a terrorist — a term Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not use when discussing the case in recent days.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lights a memorial candle at the Simta pub on Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv, on January 02, 2016, a day after two people were killed in a shooting there. Next to him is Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lights a memorial candle at the Simta pub on Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv, on January 02, 2016, a day after two people were killed in a shooting there. Next to him is Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Simta bar owner: Death of gunman may show terrorists they cannot defeat us

Nati Shaked, one of the owners of the Simta bar in Tel Aviv where Nashat Milhem killed two people, tells Army Radio: “We had a rough week. Killing the terrorist gives some hope that maybe they’ll realize on the other side that terror will never defeat us.”

Alon Bakal, who was shot dead by Milhem, was a manager at the bar.

Arara council leader: I hope that this is behind us now

The head of the local council in the village of Arara, the hometown of Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem, tells Channel 2 television: “I just want to say that one thing — I hope that this is behind us.”

Moudar Yunes says that the local council had not been updated by the security forces, and that he had received no information since Friday morning.

“It is important to me and the residents of the village that this is behind us,” he says.

Cops ‘had wanted to take Milhem alive’

Police had sought to capture Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem alive, but “had no choice” but to fire back when he opened fire on them, Channel 2 quotes security officials saying.

The goal had been to capture him alive in order to ascertain whether he had acted alone, and what assistance he had received, the TV report said.

At one point, security forces knew he was moving from one hideout to another, the TV report said, but allowed him to do so without challenging him because they sought to avoid a fire-fight with him.

The report said neighbors in the area where he was killed in a gunfight Friday afternoon had been told to stay indoors for several hours.

Officials: Milhem was hiding in hometown since attacks

Security officials say that Nashat Milhem had been hiding in his hometown in Wadi Ara since last Friday, when he carried out the attacks in Tel Aviv, Channel 10 reports.

The officials say Milhem changed his hiding place twice over the past week, in one case not long before he was discovered by security forces.

Security sources: Arara must be searched; Milhem did not operate in vacuum

Security sources say that they will have to search the village of Arara in order to locate any weapons and identify those who helped Nashat Milhem in the week he was apparently hiding there, after killing three people in Tel Aviv.

“Nashat Milhem did not operate in a vacuum,” the Walla website quotes the sources as saying.

Arara resident: State ignoring gun problem in Arab sector

An angry resident of Arara complains that the state is turning a blind eye to the proliferation of illegal firearms in the Arab sector, and says that the attack in Tel Aviv was the only incident that has made people in the village – from where Nashat Milhem hailed – stop using firearms in public over the past week.

“We have this problem in our sector of people shooting in the air from Thursday to Saturday,” the man tells Channel 2, referring to the custom of firing live bullets into the sky at weddings.

“The police were only paying lip service when they were checking homes in Arara for illegal firearms over the past week and they only acted because the village is now in the news,” he says.

Tel Aviv gunman was shot dead after killing police dog

Sources say Nashat Milhem was shot dead by security forces after he killed a police dog used in the hunt for him, Channel 10 reports.

The house-to-house search in the village for Milhem began Friday morning, the sources say, after they received information on his location.

Hamas: Milhem’s death is not the end

Hamas’s military wing says that the death of Arab Israeli gunman Nashat Milhem is not the end of the incident that began a week ago when he killed three people in Tel Aviv, the Maariv news website reports.

“The assassination of Nashat Milhem is not the end, the time is drawing near when this will be proven,” the terror group says in a post on its official Twitter account.

The post includes the phrase: “Third Intifada.”

Relative of gunman: We were expecting this outcome

A close relative of Nashat Milhem says he is not surprised by his death at the hands of the security forces, and that it had been expected, the Ynet news website reports.

“We called on him to give himself up to the police. It is a shame that it ended in a shoot-out to the death. We are not surprised when we were told that he had been killed, we were expecting it,” the relative says.

He adds: “If we had known that he was in Wadi Ara, we would have delivered him to the police ourselves. I am also sure that they will not give us his body, but we will try.”

Brother of slain cabbie: Stop terrorists before they kill

Razi Shaaban, the brother of Amin Shaaban, the taxi driver shot dead by Nashat Milhem after he killed two others in a Tel Aviv bar, says that the security forces must detain terrorists before they carry out their plans, Channel 2 reports.

“It doesn’t solve the problem — we have to get these terrorists before they start killing,” he says.

Herzog: Death of gunman proves those who hurt us will be punished

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog praises the actions of the security forces in finding and killing the gunman who killed three people in Tel Aviv last Friday.

“The IDF, police and security forces proved again that those who dare to turn to terror will be found and punished with the utmost severity,” Herzog writes on Facebook.

Leader of the opposition and chairman of the Zionist Union party MK Isaac Herzog leads a faction meeting in the Knesset, January 04, 2016. (FLASH90)

Leader of the opposition and chairman of the Zionist Union party MK Isaac Herzog leads a faction meeting in the Knesset, January 04, 2016. (FLASH90)

“I congratulate [the security forces] for their committed actions, and trust them to keep protecting Israel’s citizens. Finding the terrorist is no comfort for the terrible pain of the Bakal, Ruimi and Shaaban families, but it is important that the security forces continue act to speedily return security to Israel’s streets.”

Police chief: We will track down all those involved in terrorism

Israel Police commander Roni Alscheich says the Shin Bet and police will continue to root out all those connected to last week’s attack, which ended today with the killing of the gunman by security forces.

“Anyone involved in terrorist activity in this case or others should know that we have the means, determination and spirit [to find them], and know that we will ultimately reach everyone involved in terrorism,” Alscheich says.

The police chief praises the “dedicated, brave and professional” work of the security forces in finding Milhem.

Witness: Shootout at Arara was ‘like a war’

An eyewitness says the end of the search for Nashat Milhem in Arara, which resulted in the Tel Aviv gunman’s death at the hands of security forces, was “like a war.”

“I was sitting on my balcony with my cousin … when suddenly, shooting began, hundreds of bullets, like in a war,” Hakim Younis tells Channel 10, adding that he then went inside and didn’t see anything further.

— AP

Lapid congratulates security forces on finding Milhem

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid congratulates the security forces for finding and neutralizing Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem.

“The security forces proved once again today that they will do everything to ensure the citizens of Israel can sleep peacefully,” he says in a statement. “I congratulate the Shin Bet and the police on an outstanding operation. Anyone who tries to harm Israeli citizens needs to know that they will be brought to justice.”

‘Milhem family must compensate family of slain cabbie’

Former Umm al-Fahm mayor Hashem Mahajana tells Army Radio that the family of the Tel Aviv gunman must compensate the family of the Bedouin taxi driver he killed.

“The Milhem family must pay compensation for the damage to the Shaaban family,” Mahajana says during a visit to the cabbie’s family, with whom he has close ties.

Amin Shaaban, a 42-year-old cab driver from Lod who was murdered in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016 (Channel 2 news)

Amin Shaaban, a 42-year-old cab driver from Lod who was murdered in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016 (Channel 2 news)

PM to convene heads of Arab local councils

Benjamin Netanyahu plans to call together the heads of Arab local councils to discuss the implementation of the rule of law in their communities and the collection of illegal weapons, says Channel 2’s diplomatic correspondent Udi Segal.

Arab MK: PM has been targeting the community

Joint (Arab) List MK Yousef Jabarin says the Arab community has been singled out by Benjamin Netanyahu, and warns of incitement against its members.

“The circumstances of the Wadi Ara shootout are still not clear to us, and we are very worried by the wave of incitement against Arab citizens in general, and the residents of Wadi Ara in particular,” he says in a statement.

“Over the past week the Arab population has been the subject of a collective besmirching and delegitimization orchestrated by the prime minister,” he says in a statement. “The struggle by the Arab population in Israel is popular, public, parliamentary and non-violent. This is our path, and we will walk it despite the severe incitement against us.”

Jabarin ends his statement with a “call for both peoples to maintain a sane and level-headed dialogue in these hard times, and to work towards equality and peace for all.”

Hamas praises ‘martyred hero’ Nashat Milhem

A Hamas spokesman praises Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem, calling him a “martyred hero.”

“Hamas mourns the death of the martyred hero Nashat Milhem, who ensnared Israel for more than a week… who carried out an attack in the heart of the enemy, steadily and creatively,” says Husam Badran, according to the Walla website.

“Nashat exemplifies the free Palestinian, who sacrificed his life in the defense of his nation. His bravery shows the unity of our people, wherever they are,” he says.

4 arrested on suspicion of aiding Tel Aviv gunman

Police have in custody four people arrested on suspicion of aiding fugitive gunman Nashat Milhem in the week in which he was on the run, the Ynet news website says.

Milhem was killed in a shootout with police this afternoon, exactly a week after he shot dead three people in Tel Aviv.

Lawyer for gunman’s father informed authorities of his location

The lawyer for the father of Nashat Milhem this morning provided security forces with concrete information that the fugitive gunman was in his home village of Arara, hours before he was killed in a shootout there with police and Shin Bet officials, Channel 10 says.

The TV report says that Milhem broke into the home of a close relative in the village late last night, and the lawyer called the police this morning.

Nechami Feinblatt is the state-appointed defender representing Mohammed Milhem, who has been arrested more than once during the week-long manhunt for his son. The police told Feinblatt to pass the information on to the Shin Bet, the report says.

Mohammed Milhem had instructed Feinblatt to pass on any information that would lead to his son’s capture, according to the report.

Public defender Nechami Feinblatt recounts the events that led to the death of fugitive gunman Nashat Milhem in a shootout with security forces in Arara, on January 8, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 10)

Public defender Nechami Feinblatt recounts the events that led to the death of fugitive gunman Nashat Milhem in a shootout with security forces in Arara, on January 8, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 10)

Islamic Jihad: Israel will pay the price for killing Milhem

The Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad says Israel will “pay the price” for killing fugitive gunman Nashat Milhem, who killed three people in Tel Aviv last week.

“Israel will pay the price for this crime,” says Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab, according to the Walla website.

“It is the right of our people to oppose Israel and its terrorist actions. The children of the intifada will continue along the path of defending their people and their land.”

Police: No dogs were killed in shootout with Milhem

The police say that while one their dogs did come under fire during today’s operation to find Nashat Milhem, the canine in question is still very much alive.

The dog was hit during the operation, Channel 2 reports, but was not seriously hurt and has returned to its lodgings safe and well.

Gunman’s relative: We wanted to know his motive

Ahmed Milhem, a relative of the Tel Aviv gunman shot dead earlier today by security forces in Wadi Ara, says that the family would like to have known what led Nashat Milhem to shoot dead three people last week.

“It’s a shame he wasn’t taken alive, we wanted to know what his motives were,” he says, according to Channel 2. “He was a sick man, and he was known to the police.”

He adds that from his perspective, the case is closed after a nerve-wracking week.

Police arrest 3 people suspected of aiding Milhem

The police arrest three people suspected of providing assistance to Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem, the Maariv website says.

Milhem was killed earlier today in a shootout with security forces, ending his week-long flight from the authorities after a shooting spree in Tel Aviv last Friday that killed three people.

 

 

Hamas TV broadcasts from Arara, calls Milhem ‘a martyr’

A special news broadcast on Hamas’s Al-Quds TV network says fugitive gunman Nashat Milhem “died a shahid [martyr] in a shooting by occupation forces.”

The network also includes a report live from the scene of the shootout between Milhem and Israeli security forces in the gunman’s home village of Arara, in northern Israel.

A reporter for Hamas's Al-Quds network broadcasts from Arara, inside Israel, during a special news edition on the killing of gunman Nashat Milhem. (Screen capture: Channel 10)

A reporter for Hamas’s Al-Quds network broadcasts from Arara, inside Israel, during a special news edition on the killing of gunman Nashat Milhem. (Screen capture: Channel 10)

Bar hit in Tel Aviv attack reopens fully on day gunman is killed

The Simta bar, where two people were killed in last week’s shooting by Nashat Milhem, fully reopens on the same day as the gunman who carried out the attack is killed by security forces.

Alon Bakal, one of Milhem’s victims, was a manager at the bar. The other, Shimon Ruimi, was there celebrating a friend’s birthday when Milhem opened fire.

“Exactly a week after the deadly attack in which we lost Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi – the debt has been settled!!!!” writes Simta co-owner Nati Shaked on Facebook. “The terrorist is killed… we will not give in to terror!!!!”

Milhem ‘initially hid out in rough, then in various buildings’

Summing up some of the night’s recent developments and revelations, Army Radio says Nashat Milhem returned to northern Israel on the evening of January 1, hours after killing three people in Tel Aviv.

It says he initially hid out in the rough, but then took refuge in various buildings.

Relatives saw him in their home in Arara on Friday morning, and contacted the family lawyer, who alerted the authorities.

Security agencies are holding several residents of the area, who they suspect helped him evade capture.

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Friday's live updates: Milhem shooting (closed)

4 arrested on suspicion of aiding Tel Aviv gunman

Police have in custody four people arrested on suspicion of aiding fugitive gunman Nashat Milhem in the week in which he was on the run, the Ynet news website says.

Milhem was killed in a shootout with police this afternoon, exactly a week after he shot dead three people in Tel Aviv.