Three residents of the northern town of Arara face likely indictments over allegedly helping Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem as he fled authorities earlier this month.
Milhem, an Israeli Arab from Arara, killed three Israelis on January 1 before fleeing authorities and hiding in his hometown for several days. He was killed on January 8 in a gun battle with police.
Police and Shin Bet arrested eight people from Arara, including several of Milhem’s family members, on suspicion of helping him escape.
On Sunday, prosecutors in Haifa notified three of them that they would issue indictments against them in the coming days. Prosecutors’ declarations of their intent were being filed Sunday with the Haifa District Court, while investigators asked for a five-day extension to the suspects’ remands.
The eight suspects included Milhem’s father, brothers, sister, and cousin, as well as another relative. Five of them, including Milhem’s father Mohammed, were released from custody in the past three weeks, at least two to house arrest.
Two other people and a resident of East Jerusalem have also been questioned.
Milhem shot dead Shimon Ruimi and Alon Bakal and wounded seven others at the Simta Bar on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv with an automatic weapon. He then fled, hailed a taxi and later killed its driver, Ayman Shaaban, when heading away from the center of the city.
The manhunt for Milhem took officers to the West Bank and northern Israel before security forces converged on his hometown. After the gunfight that killed him, defense officials asserted that the killer had reached Arara within two hours of carrying out the attack and had been hiding there the entire week.
Milhem was buried the following Wednesday in Arara. His father did not attend the funeral.