Mock funeral for Nashat Milhem in Gaza, January 10, 2016.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan decided on Sunday to delay the return of the body of Tel Aviv murderer Nashat Milhem to his family for burial, but the shooter’s former family lawyer told The Jerusalem Post that the body could be delivered overnight.
Erdan ordered police to make sure the funeral does not become an event supporting terrorism.
“Until now it is not known. There is a good chance it will be tonight,” said Sami Milhelm, a distant relative who represented Nashat nine years ago on another case.
The police want a small funeral, and if the body is delivered at night the ceremony will be carried out immediately, he said. Close family and cousins could be expected to attend, added Sami.
Senior police officials said extremists want to use the funeral to stage a demonstration in support of terrorism, Channel 10 reported. A close relative of Nashat has been in custody for five days for allegedly aiding him carry out the attack. His detention was extended on Sunday for another week.
Sami, who also lives in the hometown of the shooter, Arara, near Umm el-Fahm, said that if Nashat received help, it did not come from the family, but from other contacts, who “perhaps felt sorry” for the terrorist or were “just plain stupid.”
“The police search for accomplices in Arara is justified,” he said, adding that the police are searching for people who helped Nashat after the Tel Aviv attacks with things such as transportation and food.
“All Jews and Arabs condemn this event,” continued the shooter’s former lawyer, saying that it was an “isolated, individual” act.
“I personally think that the incitement in both sectors needs to stop. We need to learn to live together with equality,” said Sami.
In the Gaza Strip, the Salah al-Din Brigade, the armed wing of Gaza terrorist group the Popular Resistance Committees, held a mock military-style funeral on Sunday for Nashat.
A Palestinian flag was draped over Nashat’s mock coffin, guns were fired in his honor and a prayer was read.
“There is no difference between a martyr from Gaza, the West Bank, or the lands from 1948,” Abu Ahmad, a brigade member, said.
“We are ready to confront the enemy at any location. This procession is in memory of the 100 martyrs who have died during the intifada,” Abu Ahmad said, referring to current wave of Palestinian violence. Hamas also held a memorial in Nashat’s honor, “for the sanctification of the brave martyr who smashed the legend of the Zionist security.”
Hamas erected a mock mourners’ tent for Nashat on Saturday.
Gaza Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, on Sunday praised Nashat and said that he “shamed the Zionists and caused hysteria.”
“We all stand here today to honor the soul of the martyr who humiliated the army of the occupation for one week,” Rajeb Abedal-Bari, a Hamas community organizer, said.
Other Palestinian factions in Gaza praised what they called Nashat’s “heroic act” that he carried out in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Yasser Okbi/Maariv Hashavua contributed to this report.