ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Tel Aviv cabbie killed in Friday shooting laid to rest

Amin Shaaban ‘had no enemies,’ says relative; police suspect link to Dizengoff shooting attack an hour earlier

File: Mourners carry the coffin of 42-year-old taxi driver Amin Shaaban during his funeral procession in the city of Lod on January 3, 2016.  Shaaban's body was found a short while after a shooting rampage at a central Tel Aviv pub on New Year's Day. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
File: Mourners carry the coffin of 42-year-old taxi driver Amin Shaaban during his funeral procession in the city of Lod on January 3, 2016. Shaaban's body was found a short while after a shooting rampage at a central Tel Aviv pub on New Year's Day. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

A 42-year-old taxi cab driver who was shot dead in Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon was laid to rest on Sunday in the central city of Lod. Police increasingly suspect that his killing is connected to the fatal shooting attack on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street an hour earlier.

Hundreds of people joined in the funeral procession for Amin Shaaban, a Bedouin-Israeli from Lod, whose body was found in northern Tel Aviv about an hour after the shooting attack that began at the city’s central Simta Bar, which killed two people and injured seven others.

Police and the Shin Bet internal security service believe Israeli Arab Nashat Milhem, the suspected shooter in the attack, also killed Shaaban.

Shaaban left behind three wives and 11 children, his family said on Saturday.

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)

“We still don’t know how Amin’s murder is linked to the attack,” Ibrahim, a relative of Shaaban, told the Ynet news website. “There are many rumors, and [the authorities] did not update the family. There are still those trying to understand if the background is criminal, and this is strange because there’s no chance of it. Amin had no enemies. He was the kind of person whom everyone loved, who got along with everyone, who only wanted to provide for his family with dignity.”

Sadia, one of his wives, said Shaaban “lived for his children” and added she did not know how the family would manage without her husband.

“That’s it, he’s been murdered. We still don’t know by whom. Now who will take care of the family?” she asked. “The children have been left without a father.”

The brother of murdered taxi driver Amin Shaaban talks from the mourning tent set up for him in Lod, January 2, 2016. (screen capture)
The brother of murdered taxi driver Amin Shaaban talks from the mourning tent set up for him in Lod, January 2, 2016. (screen capture)

Shaaban’s brother Raazi told Channel 2 news Saturday that Ayman “was very well known in the city and never had any trouble with anyone.”

Shaaban’s body was found close to a local hotel. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A massive hunt continued throughout Sunday for Milhem, a 29-year-old resident of Arara, a village in Wadi Ara in northern Israel.

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