A large contingency of Israel’s security forces was looking for Nashat Melhem both in the scene of his attack, in north Tel Aviv, and in his home region, the “Arab Triangle” that stretches in north-central Israel, along Wadi Ara, a valley connecting the cities of Hadera and Afula. Melhem, who murdered three people in Tel Aviv, including an Arab taxi driver, was located in his home town of Arara just after the start of Shabbat. A firefight ensued, with the terrorist using the same weapon—his father’s—which used in the initial attack. eventually, Melehem was put down.
The Shabak released a statement saying, “The wanted man Nashat recognized the Shabak and SWAT forces coming near the structure where he had been hiding, and tried to escape. Later he opened fire on our forces with the Falcon sub-machine gun that was in his possession—and with which he carried out the murders in Tel Aviv. The force fired back and killed him. There were no injuries to our side.
According to reports, since Friday morning large forces stormed a mosque in Wadi Ara, where the weekly sermon was about to be carried. According to reports, the Shabak received intelligence that the terrorist was hiding inside the mosque and that the sermon was only a cover for his presence there. Police arrested several suspects Friday morning and, following an interrogation, they gave up Melhem’s hiding place.
Chief of Police Roni Alsheikh announced after the terrorist’s elimination that “the goal is not yet complete. Police and the Shabak will continue, with determination and systematically, to expose everyone involved and to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu congratulated police, the Shabak and SWAT “who worked tirelessly, systematically and professionally until they located and neutralized the terrorist.”