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Israel asks Palestinian Authority for help in finding Tel Aviv shooter

Members of the Israeli security forces search the area following an attack by an unidentified gunman, who opened fire at a pub in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016
Jack Guez (AFP)
Siblings of Tel Aviv gunman taken in for questioning; family urges him to turn himself in

Israel has asked the Palestinian Authority for help in finding Nashaat Melhem, the Arab Israeli suspected of killing two people and wounding seven others at a Tel Aviv pub, the Walla news site reported Monday. Officials are examining the possibility that Melhem fled to the West Bank after the attack, although searches for the suspect were concentrated on the northern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv.

Despite finding his cell phone as well as repeatedly questioning his family, a senior security official said on Monday that they were no closer to finding him.

The official, who is closely involved in the developments around the hunt for the terrorist said that the security forces are no closer to a breakthrough.

"We still have no idea where he is, he could be anywhere in the country," he told Israel's Channel 2.

The official added that the discovery of the mobile device and the investigation of the family "has not helped us or led us to a breakthrough."

Israel Army Radio, meanwhile reported that another brother of Melhem was arrested on Monday and will be brought before a court in Haifa to extend his detention.

On Sunday, Melhem's sister was taken in for questioning by Israeli police as Israeli security forces pressed a manhunt for Melhem himself.

Police partially lifted a gag order on Saturday, naming the suspected shooter as Nashaat Melhem, 31, from the Arab village of Arara in northern Israel. They distributed his picture and encouraged public vigilance, as a massive manhunt continued. Melhem's family and lawyer described the suspect as "mentally deranged", noting that he had a history of mental illness and drug abuse including extensive use of cocaine and speed.

Melhem's cousin was killed by Israeli police in 2006, and was arrested and sentenced to five years in and Israeli prison after attempting to steal a soldier's weapon in order to avenge his cousin's death. Police raided the suspect's apartment on Saturday, where they seized a computer and arrested his brother for questioning.

The New Year's Day shooting came amid a wave of Palestinian attacks on Israelis and days after the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group threatened the Jewish state with violence.

Read More:

Police name Tel Aviv shooting suspect as Nashaat Melchem

Analysis: Israel’s selective law enforcement



Jack Guez (AFP)

Monday 4 January 2016
5:55 AM
A court in the southern city of Beersheba filed indictments against two brothers from Hebron who attempted to smuggle material for manufacturing rockets into Gaza.
5:43 AM
Another brother of Nashat Milhem, the gunman who murdered two people in a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Friday, was taken in for questioning by police. He will be brought before a Haifa court to extend his detention.
2:28 AM
The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, the country's top Arab group, condemned the Dizengoff shooting as incompatible with "democratic struggle which the Arab population has chosen."

The group has also criticized PM Netanyahu's remark regarding the Arab community representing an "enclave of lawlessness" within the Israeli "state of law", blaming the leader for establishing "a state of occupation" rife with racial tensions.
Sunday 3 January 2016
7:11 PM
Police arrest three members of Israeli-Arab family in Jaffa suspected of having contact with Tel Aviv shooter
5:35 PM
A Tel Aviv schoolgirl reportedly found the cellular phone dumped by Tel Aviv shooter Nashat Milhem on Reading Street in the north of the city.

The girl and her father understood that the found phone may have security significance only after the shooter's name was published by media outlets.
4:33 PM
The Israel Police is registering a jump of 1,000 percent in callers reporting suspicious-looking persons, a spokeswoman said in a statement.

The police have significantly boosted their deployment in Tel Aviv since Friday’s terror attack. There are officers on the ground “around the clock,” the spokeswoman adds, with some in uniform and some in plain clothes.
6:11 AM
Police say they believe Milhem is still armed with the submachine gun he used in Friday's attack and poses a clear and present danger to the public
6:11 AM
Over 50 percent of parents chose to keep their children home instead of sending them to school as search for attacker continues into third day.
6:02 AM
Funeral of victim Alon Bakal will take place Sunday in Carmiel at 3 pm. The second victim, Shimon Ruimi will also be buried 3 pm in Ofakim.
5:57 AM
Muhammad Milhem, the father of suspected attacker, Nashat Milhem,called on the police to capture his son. Quoted in Israel's Ynet news website, Milhem said "just as he murdered two people, he can murder more.I am worried and I want to hear that he is in police hands."
5:55 AM
MK Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party, called for collecting all illegal weapons from Arab-Israelis following Friday's attack.
”The incident is the result of the fact that weapons can be bought from all kinds of places, like sunflower seeds in the grocery store."
5:51 AM
Likud MK Amir Ohana calls for allowing more civilians to carry guns. He posted on his Facebook page that he intends to work towards allowing citizens with no criminal record or relevant medical condition, and who has served in the Israeli military reserves, to carry a gun.
By doing so would be “giving citizens a proper chance to defend themselves and not be slaughtered like sheep.”
4:51 AM
Security forces out on the streets of Tel Aviv as search for shooting suspect continues
Saturday 2 January 2016
5:48 PM
Britain updates Israel travel warning in wake of Tel Aviv shooting, urges nationals to remain vigilant and follow the advice of security forces.
5:38 PM
Two victims of Tel Aviv pub shooting to be laid to rest Sunday in Ofakim and Karmiel.
5:33 PM
Tel Aviv municipality beefs up security deployment throughout city, specifically at schools and kindergartens
5:08 PM
Father, school principal and others go on television and urge shooter to give himself up
5:05 PM
Suspect murdered cab driver whose body was found Friday just north of Tel Aviv, Channel 10 News reports.
5:02 PM
Juadat Melchem, the brother of the alleged shooter, has been arrested and is being held on suspicion of direct involvement in the Tel Aviv attack. Juadat was remanded into custody for five days by Haifa Magistrates Court on Saturday.
4:50 PM
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits scene of attack, denounces "heinous murder". PM acknowledges Arab public's condemnation of attack and calls on Arab MK's to do the same. "We will demand loyalty to the state's law. One cannot be Israeli in rights and Palestinian in duties," Netanyahu says.
4:49 PM
Tel Aviv residents light candles outside Simta pub on Dizengoff Street in memory of two victims killed in Friday's shooting attack.



Zionists occupiers will be targeted by Palestinians as long as they pursue on the occupation. Peace can't be achieved with the existence of settlements and the criminal settlers who are all armed with guns , actually almost all the men in Israel are in the army or in the reserve so they are considered a legal targets. It is time that Jews have to think of leaving the occupied land of Palestine , Palestinians couldn't take their independence by negotiations so they have no choice except the struggle . Long Live Palestine

Ok HISHAM ALHOUDALLI, where was this peace before there were any settlements? Palestinians could've had their own state - via negotiations - many times but instead walked away from the table each and every time. Your problem is that you hate Jews more than you want peace.

Hisham Alhoudalli, Jews leaving the Israel to Palestinian Arabs is the wet dream, it'll never happen. Palestinian Arabs do have the choice - to stop the violence and start the real negotiations with Israel, not these provocative "all or nothing". The only realistic results of your intifidas is the escalation of hate. Maybe you like it this way, who know, but the patience of Israelis is not unlimited: the situation may end very nasty way. Yes, all your professional "supporters" will make a lot of noise ... a couple of weeks and they would switch to other hot topic. Look on the situation with Syrian refugees....