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May 28, 2016 / 20 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Tel Aviv’

Retaliation: El Salvador May Move Israeli Embassy to Ramallah

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

(JNi.media) A severe diplomatic crisis is brewing between Israel and El Salvador, as the latter is not happy with the former’s decision to close down its embassy in San Salvador as part of a decision to eliminate five embassies altogether as a belt-tightening measure, Ynet reported. El Salvador is considering a retaliatory step — moving its embassy from Herzliya Pituach to Ramallah, inside the Palestinian Authority. This may be the most creative—and effective—diplomatic maneuver against the Jewish State this year. It also marks yet another Latin American country with whom the Netanyahu government is feuding (Brazil is another).

The Salvadoran foreign ministry sent Israel a stern message saying the Central American republic was shocked, dismayed and surprised by the proposed step. They were particularly hurt by the fact that they found out about it in the press, rather than receive a proper advance notice through diplomatic channels. There’s more: El Salvador had apparently been so interested in improving relations with Israel, it sent a senior official, the foreign office’s former director Werner Matias Romero, to serve as its new ambassador to Israel to enhance the friendship and cooperation.

The insulted Romero said he was still hoping Israel would reverse the decision, warning that otherwise it would “open a Pandora’s box,” adding, “What Israel has done is bite the friendly hand we extended to her. That’s not a way to treat your friends. This could definitely bolster the element in El Salvador who are opposed to our ties with Israel.”

Romero also reminded his hosts of the fact that El Salvador voted in favor of the 1947 UN Partition Plan; José Castellanos, a Salvadoran diplomat, saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust—and was recognized by Yad Vashem, and El Salvador even kept its embassy in Jerusalem for a couple of decades—until the second Lebanon war.

According to Ynet, it costs Israel about a million dollars a year to keep each embassy open. This may turn out to be an acceptable cost of doing business, when the alternative is seeing the Salvadoran embassy be consolidated with the Cairo mission, or, even worse, reopening in Ramallah, forcing Israeli visa seekers to armor their cars first before applying.

Israel is also planning to close its embassy in Minsk, to be followed by the closing down of the Belarus mission to Tel Aviv. Now, that’s something that would not have happened while Minister Avigdor Lieberman was in charge.

JNi.Media

Feces, DNA Revealed Whereabouts of Tel Aviv Shooter

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

It was the bodily needs of the Tel Aviv shooter, an Israeli Arab, that proved to be his undoing. In Judaism, there is a blessing for the correct function of those things.

Israel Police and all the linked and jointly operating security forces received unstinting praise Saturday night from Israel’s two top leaders for finding the Tel Aviv shooter. Their work was particularly unpleasant.

Security officials used DNA testing and feces found in an abandoned building in Nashet Melhem’s village to track down the killer.

Melhem had fled north toward his home village of Ar’ara immediately after murdering three people in Tel Aviv on January 1 — something suspected by security officials at the time, but that could not be confirmed.

In actuality, he made it back within hours, officials told reporters after he was killed in a shootout at the village on Friday.

First he hid out in the fields. Then he found shelter in an abandoned building – that’s where Israeli security personnel found the first traces of his presence.

By the following Monday they had tracked him down to that building, located in a field within the village boundaries. But they had missed him; he was gone.

How did they know he was there? Human feces was found at the site. They took a sample and tested it; the sample matched Melhem’s DNA, according to Channel 10 television news. Ditto a spent cigarette butt, which also matched his DNA.

Both discoveries allowed Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich to calm the public in Tel Aviv by Tuesday, telling them it was much less likely Melhem was still in the area.

The killer was ultimately tracked to the home of a 76-year-old female relative who is hospitalized on a respirator. She has no idea that her home was used as a murderer’s hideout. The outside wall bears the name “Melhem” painted in blue Hebrew letters, a relative – Ahmed Melhem – told Channel 2 television news on Saturday night.

When Melhem saw the security forces coming to get him on Friday, he opened fire at them from the window of that relative’s home. He then tried to escape.

Security personnel had orders to try and take Melhem alive – if possible.

About 200 meters away, he jumped over a low wall into the yard of a neighbor, according to security officials. He turned and fired at security personnel chasing him – including an officer with a police dog (who was not injured).

That’s when Melhem was shot and killed by police who returned fire.

In response to questions from the television channel, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan emphasized that accomplices are still being tracked down. “We will arrest everyone who had a role in this,” Erdan affirmed.

One suspect told a judge at a hearing that a friend had reported seeing Melhem in the village, but he had not credited the report.

Ahmed Melhem, however, had a different view of the matter: “Maybe people didn’t want to get into a fight with him. The whole country knew how dangerous he was.”

On Saturday night Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement “on behalf of all the citizens of Israel” saying he wanted to thank “Israel Police, ISA, and the police special anti-terrorism unit” for their skill.

“They did their work professionally, methodically, day and night; they focused on the mission and they achieved it. All those who would murder Israelis should know that sooner or later we will find them, inside and outside the borders of the State of Israel. No one is immune. We will find the murderers and their accomplices,” Netanyahu warned.

Hana Levi Julian

Tel Aviv Terrorist Found and Eliminated One Week After Attack

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

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.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Tel Aviv Shooter Believed to Have Escaped to Palestinian Authority

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Tel Aviv shooter Nashet Melhem, 31, is believed to have escaped into the Palestinian Authority, according to various media reports.

After an intensive manhunt in the city, security personnel have reportedly come to believe Melhem was aided in his escape to the PA by friends he made while previously incarcerated.

A gag order has been clamped on any further details of the investigation.

The Israeli Arab suspect is accused of opening fire on partygoers at the Simta pub in Tel Aviv last Friday on Dizengoff Street.

Two people were killed and eight others were wounded in the attack.

The shooter then allegedly hailed a cab and escaped – but subsequently murdered Israeli Bedouin taxi driver Ayman Sha’abi as well before fleeing the city altogether.

Hana Levi Julian

In Heated Debate on Shabbat Law, MK Zohar Questions Left’s ‘Enlightened socialism’

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

(JNi.media) A heated debate erupted in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday over a bill to ban commercial activity on Shabbat, despite an earlier agreement to postpone the vote to a later date.

The bill, introduced by MK Miki Zohar (Likud), would ban all commercial activity on Shabbat, apart from restaurants, bars, places of public entertainment, gas stations and pharmacies—which must apply for permission from the economy minister.

While presenting the bill to the Plenum, MK Zohar said “this law is a Jewish social law, but without the claim that this is a law of religious coercion, why would all the socialists vote against it? We know that the Tel Avivian public supported the Zionist Camp, and the Tel Avivian public has a problem with my law. The Zionist Camp is afraid of [Tel Aviv Mayor] Ron Huldai and is abandoning the values of socialism to gain the votes of Tel Aviv’s residents.”

“We will protect the weaker businesses. Where is your enlightened socialism? Where did it disappear to? Tel Aviv has repeatedly forgotten the Jewish idea… This country will forever remain a Jewish and democratic country, and as such, it obligates us to observe one day of rest a week, and that will be on Shabbat, whether you want it or not. Call me a dark and messianic person who forces religion on people – I will continue along my path faithfully until the end. My victory is the victory of the Israeli people,” he added.

Zohar’s remarks caused an uproar among members of the opposition, and MKs Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Camp), Michal Rozin (Meretz), Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) and Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Camp) were ejected from the hall after being called to order a number of times.

In the current situation, despite sanctioning Shabbat as the day of rest in the Law of Hours of Work and Rest (1951) and similar legislation, the day’s special status is violated widely, especially by vendors, while enforcement has been completely eroded, according to the bill’s author. The new bill prohibits shopping malls, for example, from staying open on Shabbat, barring specific appeals to the economy minister.

Under the bill, opening a business on Shabbat will constitute a civil offense, and business owners would be able to sue peer businesses that operate on Shabbat for damages incurred by the illegal competition. Violating the new law could result in a minimum fine of about $1,000, as well as a prison sentence of up to one year. In addition, conditioning rental or work contracts on Shabbat work will be prohibited, and it will not be possible to compel a business owner to work on Shabbat as a condition of renting space in a shopping mall, nor will the mall be allowed to fine such an individual for staying closed on Shabbat.

The accompanying notes to the bill state that the lack of enforcement has led to the formation of “enclaves,” particularly in Tel Aviv, where the “rest laws” are ignored completely. “The increasing violations of the law stem from the narrow economic interests of commercial elements, and the lack of proper enforcement,” say the notes. “This reality has a devastating effect on the values which the weekly day of rest seeks to protect, as well as on the rule of law and the public’s trust in the law.”

JNi.Media

Tel Aviv Residents “Can Calm Down” as Manhunt For Israeli-Arab Gunman Continues

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Tel Aviv (TPS) – After four days of fruitless efforts to locate and capture the terrorist who killed three men and injured seven in a Tel Aviv shooting attack on New Year’s Day, Israel’s police commissioner attempted to calm down residents who have since been experiencing tensions throughout the city.

“We can update that as of this morning, tensions in the Tel Aviv area can be significantly reduced,” said Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh on Tuesday, January 5, during a condolence visit at a victim’s house. Alsheikh said he would not elaborate any further so as to not harm the ongoing investigation.

Since Friday, January 1, Israeli police have been combing through Tel Aviv and the surrounding cities for 30-year-old Nashat Melhem, an Israeli Arab from Arara in northern Israel, who is suspected of committing the attack.

Security footage shows Melhem exiting a grocery store in the late afternoon on Friday, and starting to shoot civilians at a popular bar on Dizengoff Street. Two people were killed and seven were wounded. According to the police, the shooter then fled by taxi towards the city’s northern neighborhoods, where he murdered the taxi driver, abandoned the taxi and fled.

The terrorist has since evaded the police, who have many forces searching for him and responding to any reported sightings of him by citizens.

Melhem’s father, who had condemned his son’s actions and called upon him to turn himself in, was arrested on Tuesday, January 5 under the suspicion of assisting his son. Unconfirmed reports on the same day indicated that it is possible that Melhem managed to flee and reach northern Israel.

Israeli Chief of Police Roni Alsheikh explained during his visit to victim Alon Bakal’s home that no updates on the investigation were being published in the media since it would hinder the investigation.

“We are focused on one single objective, which is to capture the murderer,” said Alsheikh, whose previous position was deputy head of the Shin Bet. “That’s our job, and we will not do anything that disrupts or hinders the pursuit.”

“This is why we have adopted a policy of not communicating or publicizing details of the investigation,” added Alsheikh. “Every such detail reduces our ability to achieve quick results, and endangers our forces’ safety.”

Alsheikh also delivered condolences to the families of the other two victims of Friday’s attack, Shimon Ruimi and taxi driver Amin Shaaban. “I also wish a full recovery to all those wounded in the terrorist attack.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Police Arrest Father & Family of Tel Aviv Pub Shooter

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

The father of the gunman who attacked a pub on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street last Friday has been arrested, along with five members of the family, after two of the shooter’s brothers were taken into custody on Saturday.

Muhammad Milhem was the one who identified his son, Nashet Milhem, 31, as the shooter when he saw video footage of the attack on a broadcast last weekend. The elder Milhem is a security guard and auxiliary police officer; it was his weapon the gunman stole and used in the attack.

The younger Milhem shot and killed two people and wounded eight others last Friday, and traumatized many others. Last Saturday police searched the Milhem family home in the northern Israeli Arab town of Ar’ara in Wadi Ara.

Two of the shooter’s brothers were arrested as suspected accessories in the attack. One was taken to a judge at the Haifa Magistrate’s Court the same evening, where his remand was extended by five days.

Tuesday morning, Milhem’s father and five other family members were taken into custody and arrested as well.

“This is police impotency,” family attorney Nachmi Feinblatt was quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 television news as saying. “In the end, they arrested the entire family.”

Nashet Milhem is still at large; he is armed with the submachine gun he used in the attack, and the public is being warned that he is considered dangerous.

Security personnel are focusing most of their search on the northern Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Aviv. That is where Milhem worked for nearly a decade in a vegetable store, and where he was last reported being seen by residents.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/police-arrest-father-family-of-tel-aviv-cafe-shooter/2016/01/05/

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