Dozens attend funeral for Tel Aviv shooter Milhem

Israel returned Milhem's body to his family who buried him immediately afterwards in a small funeral in his northern Israeli hometown of Arara.

January 13, 2016 11:00
1 minute read.

Dozens attend funeral for Tel Aviv gunman

Dozens attend funeral for Tel Aviv gunman


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A few dozen relatives attended the funeral for Nashat Milhem on Tuesday, the perpetrator if the January 1 gun rampage in Tel Aviv, who was killed in a shootout with police last week, ending a week-long manhunt.

Israel returned Milhem's body to his family who buried him immediately afterwards in a small funeral in his northern Israeli hometown of Arara.

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His father, who condemned the Tel Aviv attack and called on the fugitive to turn himself in, had been arrested along with his brother on suspicion of abetting him but was later released. His father was not present at the funeral, Israeli media reported.

Their lawyer, Nahmi Feinblatt, said it was the family that tipped off police about his Arara hideout, where the shootout in which he was killed took place.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the security forces, which he said in a statement had "worked tirelessly, methodically and professionally to locate and eliminate the terrorist".

Reflecting official uncertainty about the motive for the rare attack by an Arab Israeli, Netanyahu had in earlier public statements referred to the fugitive as a "murderer" rather than "terrorist". His shift in terminology on Friday suggested authorities had evidence of an ideological motive.

Police said a special forces team closed in on Milhem's hideout and killed him as he stormed out, shooting at them. There were no police casualties from the incident.

Mihem, whose age police gave as 31, was identified by relatives from CCTV footage of the Tel Aviv attack, where he was accused of killing two people in a central restaurant and a taxi driver whose vehicle he used to escape. Another three people were seriously hurt.

Milhem had previously spent four years in prison for assaulting an Israeli soldier, said his former lawyer, who also described him as mentally unstable.

Commentators were divided on whether Milhem struck in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital, out of pro-Palestinian sympathy or in loyalty to Islamic State, which in recent weeks has circulated messages threatening to attack Israel. Police said all angles were being checked.

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