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January 4, 2016 10:46 pm

Unnerved Tel Aviv Parents Keep Their Children Home From School Fearing Gunman on the Loose

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The Tel Aviv skyline. Australia has decided to create a high-tech incubator in Israel's "White City." Photo: Wikipedia.

The Tel Aviv skyline.  Photo: Wikipedia.

As the manhunt continued for the perpetrator of last Friday’s shooting at a popular outdoor pub in central Tel Aviv, parents defied defense officials’ urging for normalcy and kept their children home from school.

According to Israel’s army radio, Galatz, only 30 percent of students showed up for class at the Alliance high school in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood in northern Tel Aviv, where the cell phone of the shooter was discovered on Sunday and searches were especially heavy.

In the rest of Tel Aviv, municipal authorities said school attendance hovered at around 80%.

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At the same time, city officials said the city was functioning on heightened security. Additional police —  both undercover and uniformed — as well as Shin Bet agents were deployed round-the-clock, they said, according to Israeli news website nrg. Security was bolstered around schools until the evening hours.

According to the Jerusalem Post, police reported a 1,000% increase in the amount of distress calls, mostly concerning suspicious persons reports.

“We are scanning the area, keeping an eye on schools and the nearby streets,” law enforcement told Channel 2 news, responding to concerned parents. “You can trust us.”

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan reiterated also on Monday that citizens should continue to go about their daily lives. “You’re more likely to die in a car accident” than another terrorist attack, he said.

Two people were killed and eight wounded when Nashat Melhem opened fire at the bar on Dizengoff Street. Melhem, an Arab citizen of Israel from a village in the Wadi Ara region near Haifa, fled the scene before law enforcement could stop him and apparently killed another taxi driver before disappearing.

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