Residents of Tel Aviv's northern Ramat Aviv neighborhood awoke Monday to another day of intense security and police patrols. It was the fourth consecutive day that law enforcement personnel were out in full force to search for Nashat Melhem, believed to be the terrorist who murdered two people and wounded several at a Tel Aviv pub.
Policemen, detectives, and special units continued to search the neighborhood, knocking on doors – especially ground-floor houses and homes belonging to the elderly – in order to make sure that the armed terrorist had not holed up and taken someone hostage.
Security forces have been mapping particular areas, while investigators have been combing through security camera footage in the hopes of finding new images of the terrorist. A helicopter was also flying over north Tel Aviv.
The last sighting of Melhem was on Namir Road. Police have been working based on two scenarios: one in which Melhem managed to avoid roadblocks placed after the attack and leave Tel Aviv, and another in which he was still in the Ramat Aviv area.
The known movements of Melhem on the day of the attack were a visit to natural products store Anise on Dizengoff Street, from where he continued to the street and sprayed customers at the Hasimta bar with bullets, killing Shimi Roimi and Alon Bakal and wounding seven others. Melhem also shot at other businesses, shattering windows, and then fled without being stopped.
Following the murders at the bar, the attacker began running north on Dizengoff Street – not far from the local police station. According to police assessments, he turned on foot towards Ibn Gabirol Street, where he got in Ayman Shaaban's cab. He traveled north with Shaaban, and then murdered him as well, near the Mandarin Hotel. He dropped the body there, and took the cab a few hundred meters, then abandoned it on Namir Road, not far from a bus station.
The attacker's cell phone was found on Reading Street in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood the same day. Since then, thousands of Shin Bet members and police officers have been searching for him.
With Melhem still being at large, many children did not attend school on Monday. Alliance High School was attended by just about 230 of its 1,600 students – the same as on Sunday. Lady Davis High School was attended by about 70 percent of students, compared to about 50 percent on Sunday.
Chen, a mother of three from north Tel Aviv, sent two of her children – ages two and four – to their preschools, but came back for them a few hours later. "The truth is that I'm Just not calm, even though we hired an armed guard for the preschools," she said. Her 6-year-old daughter did not attend school on Monday.