Brother of Tel Aviv Shooting Suspect Arrested

Detention of Mashat Melhem's brother extended for additional five days; he is forbidden from meeting with attorney for three days.

Juadat Milhem in court, January 2, 2016.
Rami Shlush

Juadat Melhem, the brother of Mashat Melhem, the 29-year-old suspected assailant behind Friday's Tel Aviv shooting, was arrested on Friday in connection to the attack.

Nechami Feinblatt, the attorney representing the suspect, argued that there is no real connection between the brother and the Tel Aviv attack.

"The Shin Bet prevented me from meeting my client," he said after the hearing. "It seems that denying him [from meeting a lawyer] is merely a means of pressure."

The attorney said that police requested on the Shin Bet's behalf to extend the brother's detention for 10 days. The court ruled that the suspect could be remanded for five days, while forbidding him from meeting with counsel for the first three days of detention. His hearing will occur behind closed doors.

Melhem's identity was cleared for publication Saturday after an internal dispute between the Shin Bet and Israel Police. The police believed releasing Melhem's name and picture would aid in his eventual capture, but the Shin Bet preferred to conduct the search in a more discreet manner.

Two people were killed and seven were wounded in Friday's shooting at the Simta bar, on the corner of Dizengoff and Gordon St. in central Tel Aviv. The two killed in the attack were Alon Bakal, 26, a manager at the pub, Shimon Ruimi, 30, a resident of Ofakim.