North Tel Aviv on Edge: Half of Kids no Show for School

David Jones/PA Wire URN:21969286/AP
File Photo: David Jones/PA Wire URN:21969286/AP

TEL AVIV – Fifty-per cent of children did not show up for school in North Tel Aviv, the area where the terrorist of Friday’s shooting attack was last seen.

A personal item belonging to Nashat Milhem, the Arab-Israeli terrorist who shot two and wounded several others in a pub in central Tel Aviv, was reportedly located on Saturday night in a leafy neighborhood north of where the attack took place.

With the terrorist still at large, security forces are patrolling the streets in the city’s north and helicopters are circling overhead.

The news that the terrorist had been wandering so close to her home left one resident, Tali Balsar, so shaken that she decided to take her one-year-old son, Ariel, and leave the neighborhood.

“I’m way too scared to wander around my neighborhood, I can’t stay at home,” Balsar told Breibart Jerusalem. “So I went to a friend in south Tel Aviv. But I can’t stay here forever.”

Balsar explains that her neighborhood in North Tel Aviv is full of construction. “Many buildings are undergoing renovations,” she said. “That means there are a lot of workers around.”

Most of Israel’s construction workers are Arab Israelis or Palestinians. The fear is that the terrorist is hiding out in one of the building sites under the guise of an Arab construction worker.

“The thought that he’s wandering around our neighborhood is very, very scary,” said Balsar.

Despite the fact that the municipality has beefed up security in schools and educational institutions, only 50 per cent of children in the area attended school on Sunday. .

Mayor Ron Huldai said on Saturday night, “I have something very simple to say to the citizens of Tel Aviv: If a parent feels it isn’t safe, don’t send your child to school. We will not come to you with complaints.”

Meital, the mother of a four-year-old, was one of the parents who chose to keep their children at home. “The terrorist has still not been caught,” she said, “it really scares me, we don’t have guards right now and there are only police patrols.”

Continued Meital: “I will go to work but he will stay with his grandmother. The feelings are horrible to tell you the truth, the ‘Tel Aviv bubble’ has burst. There have been helicopters here and security forces have been patrolling since the morning, right here next to the house, it’s just terrifying. I prefer to be cautious for the moment and not send the child because it scares me. The gate may be closed, but what problem is there to climb? I didn’t go out of the house with three small children today.”

Another parent, Achaz Agam, said he would not let terrorists deter him from sending his children to school. “I know the situation is problematic, but we can’t let other people control our lives,” he said. “If we live in fear we’ll never send our children to school. Today it’s Tel Aviv, and tomorrow it’ll be any other place. We have to show some kind of ability to return to routine.”