Security forces on Friday afternoon eliminated terrorist Nashat Milhem, exactly one week after he murdered three people in Tel Aviv.
Milhem, who had evaded police ever since murdering Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi at the Simta Pub on Dizengoff Street and then proceeding to murder cab driver Amin Shaban, was killed in Arara in Wadi Ara, in the same neighborhood in which his family lived until two weeks ago.
Elite Yamam counter-terrorism police and Shin Bet security agents traded gunfire with Milhem briefly, before he was eliminated.
Security forces also arrested five suspects who are believed to have aided the terrorist in fleeing and escaping arrest for a full week.
While the search for the terrorist originally focused on Tel Aviv and the area, in recent days information was received indicating that Milhem had made his way back to Wadi Ara and the search shifted there.
In addition, according to report police were able to track Milhem with the help of DNA extracted from an unspecified item found during the investigation.
The final breakthrough in the investigation came Friday, when information was received that Milhem was hiding in the vicinity of his old family’s home in Arara.
Yamam forces and special police units surrounded the building and, around 4:00 p.m. (Israel time) on Friday afternoon, the signal was given to enter the building. During the incident, Milhem opened fire at the security forces and they responded by firing four bullets, killing him. No injuries were reported among the police.
Police said that the terrorist was located and eliminated "in a determined and vigorous activity of special forces of the police and Shin Bet, thanks to concentrated intelligence, investigative and operational efforts around the clock. Milhem came out of the building while firing at the security forces and was immediately shot and killed. "
Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan reacted to Milhem’s elimination and said, "I am thankful to the police forces, Yamam fighters, police officers, the Shin Bet, the IDF and all those who took part in the great effort to locate the criminal terrorist who carried out the attack last week on Dizengoff Street.”
“Since the attack,” continued Erdan, “our troops worked day and night and turned stone by stone everywhere to find the attacker, and I am pleased that today the great effort bore fruit. We will continue to fight terror with all our might and whoever harms us - we will place our hands on him."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also praised the security forces "who worked tirelessly, systematically and professionally to locate and neutralize the terrorist."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also praised security forces for their successful operation.
"The elimination of the terrorist Nashat Milhem proves once again that the State of Israel will pursue to the bitter end those who seek to harm it in every place - in the country, throughout its borders and even far from them - and lay its hands on them.
"This is our obligation to the security of the citizens of Israel.
"I congratulate the security forces - the Israel Police, the General Security Service (Shin Bet), and all the others involved in (the operation)."