Screenshot of suspect's father at press conference in front of his hosue in northern Israel..
(photo credit: screenshot)
The father and a brother of terrorist Nashat Milhem were released to house arrest on Sunday as police raids continued in their village as part of the investigation into the New Year’s Day attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv.
Security personnel killed Nashat Milhem in a shootout in the northern village, Arara, on Friday afternoon, a week after he killed three people and wounded six others in Tel Aviv.
Both Nashat Milhem’s father, Muhammad, and a brother are suspected of assisting him, though police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have not confirmed the allegations, in keeping with a gag order on the case.
The Haifa Magistrate’s Court on Sunday ordered both men released to 10 days house arrest and required them to post NIS 15,000 bonds.
Leaving court on Sunday, Muhammad denied helping his son before or after he murdered three people in a shooting spree in Tel Aviv, saying, “I didn’t cooperate; not at the beginning or at the end. If I had cooperated I wouldn’t be here right now.”
A number of suspects were arrested by police and the Shin Bet over the weekend, as they continued to search for people who may have assisted Milhem before his attack or during his week on the run.
CCTV camera footage aired by Channel 2 on Sunday showed what the channel said were undercover police officers arresting a suspect in Arara earlier in the day.
Muhammad Milhem was arrested last Tuesday after he repeatedly took to the press to issue pleas for his son to turn himself in.
On Friday, Nashat was found by Shin Bet and Israel Police officers hiding inside a building in Arara, where he was shot after he came outside and opened fire on security personnel. The building was unoccupied, but had previously been used by the Milhem family.
Investigators are focusing on the possibility that Nashat had arrived in Arara within hours of the shooting attack on January 1, where he took shelter in a prearranged safe house. Investigators assume that he was helped by multiple people, both before and after the shootings.
Muhammad Milhem is a former volunteer Israel Police officer who was given a license for the submachine gun his son used by in the attack.
Muhammad is one of several relatives of Nashat who have been arrested since the murders, including a brother, Juadat, who was released last week.
On Saturday night, Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich said that the investigation into the attack and Nashat’s week in hiding is far from over, and that investigators “will continue to work to systematically expose all accomplices and bring them to justice.”