April 14, 2024
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Politicians From Across Spectrum Praise Killing of TA Terrorist

Police, Shin Bet, special forces praised for intelligence collection, execution of mission • Media chided for criticism during manhunt • Families of three victims express relief, but emphasize that terrorist’s death will not bring their loved ones back.

Political figures from all sides of the spectrum were quick to heap praise on Israel’s security forces following the killing of terrorist Nashat Milhem, who shot three people to death in Tel Aviv on Jan. 1.

“Good for the members of the security forces, who have been working day and night more than ever this past week. We will not bow our heads to loathsome terrorism in this difficult time we are undergoing,” President Reuven Rivlin said. “We’ll continue to opt for life, even when the pain swells, even when the price is so high.”

Zionist Union MK Omer Bar-Lev, who served in the past as commander of the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, praised the Shin Bet security agency and Israel Police for successfully collecting intelligence and the special forces for killing the terrorist after he opened fire.

Yesh Atid MK and former Shin Bet chief Yaakov Peri also praised the work of the police and the Shin Bet, and touched on the criticism that had been directed at the security forces during the week-long hunt for Milhem: “I’m not saying that there is no need to criticize, but people still haven’t dried their tears after the difficult incident [in Tel Aviv] and already there was a discussion of how it could be that the terrorist fled the scene,” he said.

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) also addressed the criticism, saying that “the media headlines about the ‘tough questions’ for the security apparatus are a great injustice at this time…. First, the security forces should be thanked… the ‘tough questions’ should be asked of the residents of Arara, citizens of this country, who hid a terrorist murderer for a week.”

According to Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud): “The Israeli Arab leadership should conduct some thorough soul-searching. Years of incitement against Israel, ignoring radicalization and promoting the Palestinian issue at the expense of the lives of the Arab citizens of Israel have led to the tension we are all experiencing in recent weeks.”

Meretz leader Zehava Galon said, “We must investigate the circumstances that facilitated the attack and the other people who might have been involved in committing it and in hiding the terrorist, but this despicable incident must not serve as an excuse for the collective punishment of the Arab public or to turn up the flames of hatred and fear between the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel.”

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid also congratulated the security forces, who, he said, “proved again on Friday that they will do everything to ensure that the citizens of Israel can sleep soundly at night. Anyone who tries to attack Israeli citizens should know that there will be a price on his head.”

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said that “the security of Israel is in good hands, and anyone who raises a hand against the citizens of Israel and anyone who helps him will pay a heavy price.”

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) also shared his congratulations, adding that “we will continue our operations to protect the citizens of Israel and will allocate all the resources needed to do so. Once again, I send my condolences to the bereaved families and wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.”

Meanwhile, the relatives of Milhem’s three victims—Shimon Ruimi, Alon Bakal and Ayman Shaaban—expressed relief that their loved one’s murderer had been killed, but emphasized that his death would not bring back their own family members.

Bakal’s father, Dudu, told Israel Hayom that “there’s a sense of relief that we closed the books on that bastard, but that won’t bring back our son.”

Bakal said he felt no anger toward the Arab population or Milhem’s own family: “We certainly aren’t making generalizations about all Arabs or blaming them for the murder.”

Iris Ruimi, mother of Shimon, voiced similar sentiments: “I’m glad the security forces reached [the terrorist] and killed him, but it doesn’t bring me any comfort.”

Ruimi said she was glad Milhem had not been taken alive: “He would surely have been sentenced to a long prison term, gotten a salary, enjoyed life and been released as part of a prisoner exchange deal. In my heart, I know it’s good he was killed, and I knew that my late son wouldn’t rest in peace until his murderer was caught and killed.”

The family of Shaaban, whom Milhem is believed to have shot to death at a different scene, said that “the terrorist’s death relieved a lot of the family’s pain, but it’s not enough.”

Shaaban’s brother Razi said that attacks “need to be thwarted before they happen. We need a better solution, so I say terrorists should be reached before they commit attacks, and that’s possible.”

Two of the people wounded in the Dizengoff Street shooting are still hospitalized at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in light to moderate condition.

The Defense Ministry has announced that Ruimi, Bakal and Shaaban will officially be recognized as victims of a terrorist attack.

By Israel Hayom Staff

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