After an agreement had already been reached between the Arab family of the terrorist who went on a killing spree in central Tel Aviv in January of 2016 and the family of one of his victims, the traditional Arab reconciliation ceremony set for Saturday was called off by the victim’s family.
On January 1, 2016, Nashat Melhem carried out a shooting attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, killing Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi. After escaping from the site of the attack, Melhem got in the cab of driver Amin Shaaban, who was not linked to the attack, and later shot and killed him as well.
Melhem was found a week later hiding in the Arab town of Arara, where he was eventually killed during a firefight with Israeli security forces.
According to a member on the reconciliation committee, the Shaaban family “decided to avoid the Melhem family (and cancel the ceremony), since the murderer had also died and there was no reason to conduct the reconciliation.”
Therefore, the Shaaban family decided to back out of the “sulha”—a traditional Arab reconciliation ceremony. Melhem’s family, for their part, were surprised at the cancellation.
The reconciliation committee, which organized the ceremony, said: “For several months, we have been trying to calm down both families in order to avoid a vendetta. We finally managed to reach a good place, when at the last second it was canceled. At this stage, it’s unclear whether there will be a sulha at a later time.”