Two young men were sentenced to five and eight years in prison for aiding the terrorist who committed the shooting in Tel Aviv last year in which three people were murdered. The two provided assistance to the terrorist when he was hiding during the manhunt.

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The Haifa District Court sentenced today (Monday) two young men after they admitted that they aided terrorist Nashat Melhem, who murdered three people in a shooting attack in January 2016. Their names were not made public but they were sentenced to five and eight years in prison.

Israelis Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi were murdered at the Simta Bar on Dizengoff Street, a main Tel Aviv street. Several others were wounded in the attack and a third Israeli, a taxi driver named Amin Shaban, was also murdered by Melhem at another location.

Melhem was eliminated in an exchange of fire with police forces in his hometown of Ar’ara in northern Israel after a massive week-long manhunt.

The first defendant, who was sentenced to five years in prison, admitted that he met Melhem at his hiding place two days after the shooting attack. In their meeting, Melhem told the defendant about his actions and requested food, a copy of the Quran and hashish.

Melhem also told the defendant of a second terror act that he was planning. In this terror attack, he planned to shoot Israeli soldiers. Melhem said that he still had ammunition and that he was planning on stealing a rifle from a soldier and to keep shooting until he is dead. The defendant suggested that Melhem carry out the shooting in Military Camp 80 but Melhem disagreed. The defendant also connected Melhem with another defendant, who has not been sentenced yet. This man purchased a phone for the terrorist.

The second defendant, who was sentenced to eight years in prison, admitted that he met Melhem in Ar’ara. He offered to help the terrorist and provided him with money and cigarettes. In their meeting, five days after the shooting attack, Melhem told the defendant that he was planning a second shooting in Tel Aviv or somewhere in northern Israel. The defendant also tried to purchase ammunition for Melhem. However, the defendant was found by the police after his father contacted them when he learned that his son had met with Melhem.