Police ignored tip on gunman’s location shortly after Dizengoff attack

Disturbing details regarding the conduct of the Israel Police in the aftermath of the January 1 terrorist attack on Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Street were released on Wednesday, following the lifting of a court order barring publication of details of the investigation. 
The police ignored a tip by two young women who spotted the terrorist Nashat Melhem after he boarded a bus in the northern part of Tel Aviv with bloodstains on his shirt. The women recognized the terrorist from a picture released by the media and notified their employer, who called the police. However, the police never called him back to get more details, even though he contacted the police again and again in an effort to provide the information. They only contacted him after Melhem was hunted down and killed.
Melhem killed two Israelis and injured seven others in the mass shooting, and then murdered a taxi driver as he fled.
The investigation has found that Melhem watched Muslim extremist videos before the attack and made a video using his mobile phone in which he said that he hated the "enemies of Islam – the Shiites, the Christians and the Jews."
Following the attack, he fled to his village of Arara where he first hid in a shipping container owned by his family, then in a warehouse belonging to his cousin, and finally in an abandoned house where he was finally found and killed in an exchange of fire with elite policemen.
Three accomplices of Melhem – his 23-year-old cousin Amin Melhem, his 22-year-old cousin Mohammad Melhem, and his 22-year-old friend Ayub Salameh Rashid – were indicted on Wednesday by the Haifa district court.         
The police and the Shin Bet internal security service continue to claim that the terrorist carried out the attack by himself.

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