Government continues holding Tel Aviv shooter’s body until conditions met

Family lawyer tells Post family agrees to police demands for funeral

Tel Aviv shooter killed by security forces in gun battle at his hideout in Wadi Ara (photo credit: Courtesy)
Tel Aviv shooter killed by security forces in gun battle at his hideout in Wadi Ara
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The body of terrorist Nashat Milhem – killed by police Friday after a weeklong manhunt – has yet to be returned to his family as authorities hammer out how to allow the burial.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Monday reiterated that Milhem’s body would not be returned to his family as long as its demands are not met to prevent the funeral from becoming an event supporting terrorism.
“When the family complies with the demands of the Israel Police, which are intended to ensure that the terrorist’s funeral does not turn into a rally in support of terrorism and incitement to further attacks – the body will be released,” Erdan said.
“If it does not happen, the release will be delayed until these conditions are met.”
The police are requiring that no more than 40 people attend the funeral, out of concern that extremists will exploit the funeral as a means of praising Milhem’s attack and terrorism against Israelis.
Sami Milhem, a distant relative who represented Milhem nine years ago on another case, told The Jerusalem Post Monday that there is still no indication that the delivery of the body is imminent. He also said the family agrees to the police conditions for the funeral.
Sami said Sunday that the family expected the burial to take place that night.
Mudar Yunis, head of the Arara Municipality, told Channel 10 on Monday that the situation in his town has still not calmed, following a series of arrests in the village of suspected accomplices of Milhem’s both before and after the fugitive was killed on Friday.
Yunis added that the residents of the village are opposed to violence and worried that Milhem’s actions will be identified with them.
The police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) are continuing their investigation to find additional suspects believed to have helped Milhem evade investigators for a week after he murdered Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi in a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on New Year’s Day, after which he killed taxi driver Amin Shaaban after hailing his cab just after the shooting.
Milhem was shot dead in a gun battle with police anti-terror unit officers on Friday after emerging from a safe house in Arara, his home village.
It is believed that he may have arrived at the village as early as a few hours after the attack in Tel Aviv, and that he was assisted by numerous people who helped provide him with food, water, and shelter.
Those arrested following the attack include his father, two brothers and a number of associates of Milhem’s.