B’nai B’rith International strongly deplores the murderous attacks against Jews that occurred in Tel Aviv this weekend. On Jan. 1, Nashat Melhem, an Israeli-Arab, opened fire outside a bar in Tel Aviv, killing Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi and wounding five others. Melham has a violent past, and in 2007 he was sentenced to jail for assaulting an Israeli soldier.
An extensive manhunt is underway for Melhem; police believe he is either still in Tel Aviv or has fled to the West Bank. Melhem’s father called police after recognizing his son in surveillance video broadcast on the news.
These violent attacks have been occurring in Israel on a near-daily basis. It is astounding and deeply troubling that the international community has not spoken out forcefully to denounce these ongoing, horrific and unprovoked attacks on the citizens of Israel.
“We call on responsible international leaders to speak out and condemn these vicious terrorist attacks, as they do when terrorism occurs in other parts of the world,” B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said.
This latest upsurge of violent assaults caused the deaths of at least 20 Israeli citizens since October. Over this period of time Palestinian assailants have stabbed, shot and car-rammed their victims.
“The international community must not allow these attacks to become a new acceptable norm for the citizens of Israel,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said.
B’nai B’rith extends our condolences to the victims and their families.
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