Report: Israel asks PA for help in capturing Tel Aviv shooter

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel reportedly has turned to the Palestinian Authority for help in capturing the Arab-Israeli gunman who allegedly shot up a bar in central Tel Aviv, killing two, and later killed a cab driver.

Israeli officials, who suspect that Nashat Melhem, 31, of Arara, a village in Wadi Ara in northern Israel, has fled to the West Bank, have asked the PA to share intelligence that could lead to his capture, the Times of Israel reported Monday.

The search for the shooter, in its fourth day, remains centered on Tel Aviv, however.

On Friday, Melhem allegedly opened fire on a pub next to the popular Dizengoff Center Mall in an area full of people enjoying what is a weekend afternoon in Israel.

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His father, a volunteer policeman, called police after seeing security camera footage of the attack on television and recognizing his son. Melhem’s brother, Jaudat, was arrested the same day on suspicion of being an accessory to the crime, according to reports.

It is believed that Nashat Melhem later hailed a cab in north Tel Aviv and killed the driver, Amin Shaaban, a father of 11 from Lod, whose body was found about an hour after the bar shooting.

On Monday in Tel Aviv, about 80 percent of schoolchildren attended classes, up from about 50 percent the previous day.

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