Israeli Islamist leader Kamal Khatib.
(photo credit: screenshot)
The Deputy head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch in Israel said Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is the only one celebrating the blood spilled in Tel Aviv," and "sees all Muslims as murderers."
The comments were made after police announced that they had shot and killed the perpetrator of the Dizengoff terror attack that occurred on New Year's day, which left three dead and almost a dozen wounded.
"In Netanyahu's eyes, he sees all Muslims as killers," Sheik Kamal Khatib said, who is second in command of the recently outlawed organization.
Khatib added that Netanyahu would use the incident as a political opportunity to further degenerate the Muslim community, arguing that the prime minister "needs to speak a different language" when addressing the Muslim minority in Israel.
Echoing Khatib's sentiment was MK Joseph Jabarin [Joint List], who said that "the Arab population in Israel has been the target of a collective campaign of stigmatization and delegitimization, led by the prime minister."
Earlier Friday, Shin Bet domestic intelligence agents together with the Border Police's Counter-Terrorism Unit officers shot and killed terrorist Nashat Milhem in his hometown of Arara in northern Israel, after he tried to fire on them, thus ending a days-long pursuit of the terrorist behind three murders in Tel Aviv.
Milhem was found in a hideout and discovered after the Shin Bet received information on his location on Friday, following an intensive Shin Bet - Israel Police investigation that included many undercover and overt operations to track him down.
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The Arab-Israeli terrorist had been on the run since January 1, when he opened fire at Israelis sitting at the Simta bar in Tel Aviv, murdering Alon Bakal and Shimon Roimi, and later, shooting dead cab driver Amin Sha'aban near the Mandarin hotel in north Tel Aviv during his getaway.
According to security forces, Milhem identified the Shin Bet agents and the Counter-Terrorism unit officers as they approached a structure he used as a hideout.
He tried to escape, and then opened fire at security forces using the Spectre M4 Falcon sub-machine gun in his possession, which he also used to murder his victims in Tel Aviv the previous week, the Shin Bet stated.
Agents and special forces "returned fire and killed" the suspect, the Shin Bet said. "There were no injuries among our forces."
The investigation will now focus on ascertaining whether Milhem acted alone, or received assistance in hiding after fleeing Tel Aviv. The Shin Bet will also seek to examine whether he had come under the influence of Islamic State jihadist ideology.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.
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