PA agrees to cooperate in manhunt for Tel Aviv shooting suspect, says official

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January 7, 2016 18:46

PA security official: "He's an Israeli citizen and if we capture him we will hand him over to the Israeli authorities,"

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palestinian police

Palestinian Authority police officers stand guard in the West Bank [File]. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Israel has asked the Palestinian Authority security forces to help find Nashat Milhem – wanted for the murder of three people in a shooting spree in Tel Aviv last Friday – a Palestinian security official in Ramallah said on Thursday.

The confirmation came as the manhunt for Milhem reached its seventh day, and police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) moved their search from the Tel Aviv area to Wadi Ara and the northern Triangle area, with searches focused for the second straight day largely on the village of Baka al-Gharbiya.

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The more time goes by the more evident it becomes that Milhem is receiving assistance from someone.

The official said that the Israeli request was received earlier this week. He said it remains unclear whether the suspect was hiding in PA-controlled territories.

“He’s an Israeli citizen and if we capture him we will hand him over to the Israeli authorities,” the official said. “We won’t allow our territories to become safe havens for criminals.”

Police and security forces are no longer looking for Milhem in the Tel Aviv area, though they remain on high alert in the city, largely to help provide a sense of security for residents.

On Thursday, the Haifa Magistrate’s Court extended by three days the remand of Milhem’s father, Muhammad, a suspected accomplice in the killings. Muhammad is one of a series of relatives and associates of Nashat’s arrested by the Shin Bet since the attack, on suspicion of being involved or of assisting Nashat.

Also Thursday, President Reuven Rivlin paid condolence visits to the families of Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruime in Karmiel and Ofakim. Both were murdered in the Friday attack along with Amin Shaaban, a taxi driver from Lod.

During his visit with the Ruime family, Rivlin said, “All of the people of Israel mourn with you,” and vowed the country will not give in to terrorism. •

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