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Father of Tel Aviv shooting suspect arrested

    The scene of the attack
    The scene of the attack

    The father of the man who allegedly carried out a shooting at a Tel Aviv bar last week has been arrested in connection with the attack.

    Mohammed Melhem, father of 29-year-old Israeli Arab Nashat Milhem, was arrested on Tuesday along with five other family members on suspicion of being accessories to murder.

    Mohammed initially identified his son and contacted authorities after recognising him in TV footage of the attack at the Simta bar on Dizengoff Street last Friday. Appealing to him to turn himself in he said on Israeli television: “I call on my son directly, if you can, cooperate with me and contact me to arrange matters.”

    “What is important to me now is that they reach my son and arrest him, because he is still armed,” the Ynet news website quoted him as saying last weekend. “And just as he murdered two people, he can murder more.”

    He added: “I am worried and I want to hear that he is in police hands.”

    It is thought that the suspect may have stolen the weapon used in the attack from his father, who is a volunteer police officer.

    Police currently believe that the alleged shooter, Nashat – who is the focus of a massive manhunt - has escaped to northern Israel or to the West Bank.

    The two men killed in the shooting were identified as Alon Bakal, 26, the manager of the bar, and 30-year-old Shimon Ruimi from the southern Israeli city of Ofakim.

    Nashat Milhem was detained by police in 2007 after attacking a soldier with a screwdriver and trying to grab his gun.

    During questioning he is believed to have said he wanted revenge for the death of a cousin allegedly killed by police in 2006.

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