Nashat Melhem
Nashat Melhem Police spokesperson unit

Attorney Sami Melhem, a relative of the Arab Israeli terrorist Nashat Melhem, criticized the security apparatus on Wednesday for its continued inability to locate his terrorist relative six days after the lethal Tel Aviv shooting on Friday.

Nashat murdered two people in a Tel Aviv pub, and an hour later he apparently murdered a taxi driver as well. Massive police forces have been scouring for him, but have yet to locate the elusive gunman.

"I'm surprised that the state of Israel, with its great power, is unable to locate a little criminal," the attorney said in an interview on radio Kol Rega.

"If it can't catch him, then who will catch him? Me? His father?," he posed, a day after Nashat's father Mohammed was arrested under suspicion of helping him escape and hide.

Sami Melhem said, "I'm doubtful that someone in the family knew about this incident," even though Mohammed was revealed on Tuesday to have spoken with Nashat just after the attack.

"I also have no doubt about the fact that there is condemnation of the act, condemnation that was already said after the attack. There is no reason to cooperate with a man like this, who did what he did."

Despite the attempt to downplay the terrorist as a "little criminal," Melhem displayed a significant degree of planning, having intentionally thrown away his phone before carrying out the attack with an automatic assault rifle so as to make it harder to track him.

In the past, Sami Melhem represented his terrorist family member in court, after he was convicted in July 2007 of attacking a soldier with a screwdriver and attempting to steal a his gun at Karkur Junction to the east of Hadera.

Officers who guarded Melhem during his time in jail revealed their shock that he was released, given his misconduct in jail - misconduct that was further revealed in court records by Channel 2 on Wednesday, showing he had a history of violence during his time in prison.

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