Was Tel Aviv gunman driven by ISIS or emotionally unstable?

Sami Melhem, an Israeli Arab lawyer, said the shooter was a relative of his, whose father, a police volunteer, had come forward to identify him to authorities after the security footage aired.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
January 1, 2016 21:08
1 minute read.

Tel Aviv gunman moments before he starts shooting

Tel Aviv gunman moments before he starts shooting

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The suspected gunman in the deadly shooting attack that killed two people and wounded seven others in Tel Aviv on Friday is emotionally unstable and not an adherent of Islamic State, a family attorney told Israeli television.

Sami Melhem, an Israeli Arab lawyer, said the shooter was a relative of his, whose father, a police volunteer, had come forward to identify him to authorities after the security footage aired. The 28-year-old suspect's name was withheld from publication under a court gag order.

Speaking to Channel 2, Melhem said he had previously represented the suspect in a case where he was jailed for assaulting an Israeli soldier. But Melhem described him as mentally unstable rather than politically militant.

"This man is not sane, to the best of my knowledge since I represented him," Melhem said. "He has received treatment. He is receiving treatment. Recently he has been going around in the street as an insane person."
Video of Tel Aviv shooting

Asked if the suspect had radical religious tendencies, Melhem said: "I do not know."


Israeli security officials are increasingly convinced that the shooting was motivated by nationalist sentiment.

The suspected gunman is known to Israeli security forces since he had been arrested and sent to prison for attempting to steal an IDF soldier's gun.
Four wounded in shooting on Dizengoff street, Tel Aviv, January 1, 2016.

Authorities continue to hunt the suspected gunman, a native of the Israeli Arab village of Arara. Those from the Wadi Ara community who know the gunman told Israeli media that the individual "experienced a number of traumatic events in his life."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jordan Crawford
February 21, 2019
Nahariya new hotbed for former NBA players?

By JOSHUA HALICKMAN