By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

The Fatah movement has officially proclaimed the terrorist responsible for the death of two Israelis and an Arab father of 11 from Lod on January 1st, Nashat Melhem, a martyr on its Facebook page after he was killed by Israeli security forces on Friday, January 8. The post included an uncensored photograph of Melhem’s dead body, the result of a brief shootout with Israeli security officers.

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The caption on the Fatah Facebook page reads, “Nashat Melhem died as a Martyr after an armed confrontation in the courtyard of a mosque in Umm Al-Fahm. Congratulations and may Allah receive you in heaven.”

The PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, further praised Melhem for what it described as “the Tel Aviv operation” and went on to describe his fate as an “execution.”

Moreover, a Hamas spokesman, Husam Badran, described Melhem as a “hero.” “Nashaat [sic] is an example of the free Palestinian who sacrifices himself in the defense of his own people and in support of their cause. The blood of the martyrs will remain a beacon for the [Palestinian] generations who will tread the same path,” he is quoted as saying by Ma’an News Agency.

Milhelm, 30, a resident of Arara in northern Israel was killed in a shootout with Israeli police on Friday when they discovered that he had been hiding in a mosque in his hometown. He had evaded capture in a week-long manhunt after he opened fire on Tel Aviv’s popular Dizengoff street.

His funeral was set to take place on Sunday January 10. However, Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan delayed handing over his remains amid ongoing investigations of possible accomplices.

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