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February 12, 2016 / 3 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Tel Aviv’

Day 4: Hunt for Tel Aviv Shooter Continues

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Security personnel continued to sweep metropolitan Tel Aviv as they hunted for the gunman who murdered two and wounded eight Friday in an attack at a café on Dizengoff Street.

Nashat Melhem, 31, has already served time in an Israeli prison for a previous offense. He has a history of mental illness and is still believed to be carrying the assault weapon with which he carried out his attack.

Melhem’s father, an auxiliary police officer, was the person who identified him from CCTV video footage seen on a news broadcast. He has expressed deep concern that he be caught as soon as possible, “before he can murder anyone else.” With deep sadness, he added that he had “not raised him this way,” and apologized to the public for his son’s behavior.

“There’s no reason to believe that [he] is still in Tel Aviv and not in some other part of the country,” contended Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in an interview Monday morning on Israel Public Radio.

Nevertheless, as schools opened Sunday with police and other security forces combing the city and surrounds, parents pondered whether or not to send their children to school — and did the same Monday morning.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai told parents in an interview on Galei Tzahal IDF Army Radio that they did not have to send their children to school if they did not want to. Only 50 percent of the city’s children showed up in the classrooms at the start of the week.

But Education Minister Naftali Bennett urged Tel Aviv’s parents to send their children back to school. Speaking on Galei Tzahal, Bennett pointed out that in Hebron and Gush Etzion, where terror attacks are a fact of life, “also there they continue to live their lives.” He also noted that more children are killed annually in traffic accidents than in terror-related incidents.

The shooter’s cell phone was found at about 2 pm on a side street north of the city in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood, according to a report broadcast Sunday night on Israeli television news Channels 2 and 10.

It was found by a student on Friday afternoon, who took it home to her father; the two at first thought it simply was a lost phone. Once turned on, it began receiving calls from Arabic-language speakers and the family thought an Arab laborer probably had lost the device.

Only after having seen the report of the attack on television Saturday night did the two make the connection and call police, who then came and picked up the phone. One of the calls received was, in fact, from Melhem’s employer who was trying to reach him.

Melhem is believed to be hiding in the north Tel Aviv area, where he was last seen. Residents of the neighborhood said Sunday that the fugitive worked at a vegetable store in the suburb for many years, which would give him an intimate familiarity with the area.

Tel Aviv Preschoolers Ask President Rivlin, ‘Why Didn’t You Become a Footballer?’

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

There are some things in this world that are hugely important when you are four years old, and no one can tell you different. Even the president of Israel.

President Reuven Rivlin encountered that situation when he visited the Hadas Kindergarten in central Tel Aviv on Sunday morning.

The visit was his first stop in Tel Aviv, preceding his trip to Ichilov Hospital to visit with those injured in Friday’s shooting attack at a café on Dizengoff Street, and their families.

The president sat with the preschoolers and read them the story of ‘Aaron and the Purple Crayon,’ by Crockett Johnson, “supervised” by their teacher, Keren, and educational staff.

But when the story ended, the children had their own questions for the president.

They wanted to know why Rivlin wanted to be President, and what did a President do? Why hadn’t he become a footballer?

Seeing as these were all very good questions, the President gave them very serious answers.

“I’m just not very good at it,” he said when explaining why he gave up football.

“I think it’s better that I am President because that way I have the opportunity to listen to all people in the country.

“I listen to all the citizens and the citizens with difficult jobs. I listen to mayors and ministers, principals and teachers, and I try to help with any problem and to resolve them.

“The President is primarily the mouth of all people, of all the public. When the President expresses his opinion he does so after hearing everyone’s voices. And you children – even if you don’t agree with what your friend says, first of all you need to listen and think – maybe what he is saying makes sense?

“It is important that we listen to everyone with dignity, and maybe we will learn something,” he told them.

ISIS Flags Found on Tel Aviv Rooftop

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

The residents of a building on Recanati Street in north Tel Aviv filed a complaint with police on Friday after discovering an ISIS and Hamas flag on their rooftop, Ynet reported. Police are investigating the possibility that the flags may belong to Arab workers who are doing renovations in the building.

On Friday, an Israeli-Arab killed 2 people and wounded 8 more in Tel Aviv, and he has not yet been found. The city is on edge.

Tel Aviv Schools Open Under Tight Security, Search for Cafe Killer Continues

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Schools opened Sunday morning amid tight security as security forces continued to hunt through Tel Aviv for a gunman who killed two people and wounded at least eight others at a cafe on Friday.

Israeli security forces search for the killer after a shooting attack at a pub in central Tel Aviv.

But it became clear after the first hour that parents of approximately half of the children were too frightened to send their children to school. Of 1600 preschool and kindergarten-age children, only 230 made it to class, and approximately half of all other students stayed home as well, according to the Hebrew-language Ynet site.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai reassured parents in a live interview on Galei Tzahal IDF Army Radio that parents who felt insecure about sending their children to school could keep them home.

“It’s okay for you to to keep your children home if you feel unsure,” Huldai said. But he also emphasized that the city had beefed up security around schools and other high-population areas in the wake of Friday’s shooting at a café on Dizengoff Street.

All schools and classes are open, including the preschools and kindergartens, and all school trips and activities are continuing as scheduled. The city raised its alert and added 24-hour patrols as security personnel continue their manhunt for the killer who murdered two and wounded eight others.

Tel Aviv police officers searched with other security services in the hunt for the gunman.

Nashat Milhem, 31, is from the northern Israeli Arab village of Ar’ara. He has already served time in an Israeli prison and is also known to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder which makes him even more unpredictable. Milhem is still believed to be carrying the assault rifle he allegedly used in the attack on the café.

His family identified him from the video footage broadcast from the attack on media and immediately contacted law enforcement; his father made a public apology, saying, “I am sorry. I did not raise my son this way.”

Residents in the north Tel Aviv neighborhood of Ramat Aviv reported seeing a man who fit Milhem’s description, drawing a large security force to the area.

Personnel from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet / Shabak) and special ops police units are continuing door-to-door searchers in apartment buildings and construction sites in and around Tel Aviv as they search for Milhem.

Following the Sabbath, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the attack. He praised the statements of support from the Israeli Arab community and condemnations of the attack from Israeli Arab leaders. Netanyahu then turned his attention to Israeli Arab MKs and Islamist clerics who have been responsible for the mixed messages conveyed to the Israeli Arab public. Such messages have, to a great extent, contributed to the incitement that has whipped up the frenzy of hate driving some of the Israeli Arab teens who now are intent upon murdering their fellow Israelis.

Netanyahu stated bluntly that the time has come for Israeli Arab MKs, and by extension, Israeli Arabs, to decide on who they wish to be: Arab Israelis or citizens of the Palestinian Authority.

Following Terror Attack, PM Netanyahu Demands Israeli-Arabs Show Loyalty to Israel [video]

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening, visited the murder scene on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv where he was briefed on the progress of the investigation by – inter alia – Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Israel Police Inspector General Roni Alsheich. The Prime Minister lit a memorial candle and spoke with one of the pub’s owners.

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

“Yesterday there was a heinous and unbelievably vicious murder here. Young people, whose entire lives were ahead of them, the ages of my own children, were innocently sitting celebrating a birthday and were murdered in cold blood. I would like to send heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were murdered and wishes for a complete and quick recovery to the wounded. We are praying for their well-being.

The Israel Police and ISA are working around the clock to apprehend the murderer. I just received a comprehensive briefing on their operations. They, the security forces of the State of Israel, are working to the best of their abilities. The photograph of the murderer has been published; additional photographs of him will also be published. We have reinforced our units in all relevant areas. I request that the public be on maximum alert.

I appreciate the condemnations of the crime that have been made by the Arab public. I must say that I expect all Arab MKs, all of them without exception, to clearly condemn the murder without hesitation. Murder is murder, and must be condemned and acted against from whatever quarter.

Among Israel’s Muslim citizens there are many elements that have come out against the violence and wish for full law enforcement in their communities. However, we all know that there is wild radical Islamic incitement against the State of Israel in the Arab sector. There is incitement in mosques, in the educational system and in social media. We are taking strong action against this incitement just as we did when we outlawed the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and the Mourabitoun. I am not prepared to accept two States of Israel, a state of law for most of its citizens and a state within a state for some of them, in enclaves in which there is no law enforcement and in which there is Islamist incitement, rampant crime and illegal weapons that are frequently fired at events such as weddings. This era has ended.

I have formulated a plan, along with the Public Security Minister and the Israel Police Inspector General, a plan with a lot of money and resources. We will dramatically increase law enforcement services in the Arab sector. Israel will enforce the law and its sovereignty in all parts of the country – in the Galilee, the Negev and the Triangle, everywhere. We will build new police stations, recruit more police and go into all communities and demand from all of them loyalty to the laws of the state. One cannot say ‘I am an Israeli in rights and a Palestinian in obligations.’ Whoever wants to be Israeli should be an Israeli all the way, both in rights and in obligations, and the first and highest obligation is to obey the laws of the state.

I view positively the increasing involvement in the IDF, in civilian service and in the overall life of the state, of the Christian, Druze and northern Bedouin communities, and within the Muslim community as well. I call on all citizens of Israel, especially its Muslim citizens, to take the path of integration, coexistence and peace and not the path of incitement, hatred and fanaticism. We are all citizens of the state and are all bound to maintain it and uphold its laws.

The Prime Minister’s speech begins at 0:30.

Searches Expand in Tel Aviv for Shooter

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

The search continues for the Israeli-Arab shooter, Nashat Milhem (31), who shot and killed 2 people, Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruim, and wounded 8 more on Friday in Tel Aviv.

There are reports that the shooter’s phone has been found and police have expanded their search to an additional area of northern Tel Aviv.

The shooter’s brother has also been arrested in suspicion of assisting him.

It is also unknown if there is a connection to the Israeli-Arab taxi driver, Amin Shaban of Lod, who was murdered in Tel Aviv shortly after the Dizengoff attack.

Parents in Tel Aviv have been told they do not need to send their children to school on Sunday if they are concerned about the shooter.

Two Dead, Eight Wounded in Tel Aviv Terrorist Attack [video]

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Two people were killed and eight wounded in a Friday shooting incident near a pub at 124 Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. Among the injured, four are in serious condition and three medium. Hundreds of police have been sent to the area, including special forces, the Shabak and SWAT, and are conducting a manhunt after the shooter who fled the scene in north Tel Aviv. Police Commissioner General Ronnie Alshiech is on the scene. The wounded were evacuated to Ichilov Hospital, Tel Hashomer, Wolfson and Beilinson.

The terrorist fired his submachine gun at the pub and from there continued running toward a nearby restaurant, where he replaced his cartridges. According to various reports, the shooter was holed up at the corner of Reines and Remez Streets.

As of the beginning of Shabbat in Israel, Police are not yet clear regarding the identity of the shooter.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shooting-attack-at-dizengoff-in-tel-aviv/2016/01/01/

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