It took eight days for the police and security forces to find and to kill Nashat Milhem, murderer of innocent Tel-Avivians.

But in the final moments, it was not the forces which located him. It was his feces!

Hiding in his hometown village of Arara, he found comfort in the abandoned home of a 76-year-old hospitalized relative. There he was able to watch television, listen to the radio, eat meals provided to him by sympathetic neighbors, and elude the national police manhunt.

Someone said that they had seen him walking to a kiosk to buy cigarettes. And it was DNA evidence found on a cigarette butt and his fecal material that gave proof to his whereabouts.

The house was surrounded by armed troops. Milhem saw them through a window and began shooting. Fleeing from the house he jumped a fence into a neighbor’s back yard where he was shot and killed by the police.

The public rejoiced in hearing the news of Milhem’s death but they questioned why it took the authorities such a long time to catch him. Several explanations were offered including an important one relating to finding accomplices and those who helped him to get from Tel-Aviv back to his village in Arara.

It may take some time before the investigation is closed and all the facts revealed. But the credit goes to the brave police and security personnel who did not give up for a moment in the search for a deranged killer.

Questions need to be asked and answers given by residents of Arara. Were they loyal to the State or did they rejoice in Milhem’s murders? Who among them helped Milhem during his eight-day flight? Who fed him? Why did no one report his whereabouts to the police? Why are some proclaiming him a martyr for the Palestinian cause?

In a very recent poll, 77% of Israel’s Arab population preferred to be citizens of the State of Israel rather than of the Palestine Authority. 60% declared that life for Arabs is superior in Israel than life in other Muslim countries. The numbers are encouraging. The question remains: will they accept and follow the laws of the State of Israel? Will they willingly integrate into Israeli society?

We had believed that the citizens of Arara were happy and satisfied with the conditions of their lives.

If so, how did one Nashat Milhem emerge from their midst?

He is dead. And with his death, the tragedy of the Tel-Aviv murders remains a national sorrow.

But the feces factor which caused him to be located should be praised.

For after all, it can be said that Nashat Milhem was full of s – -t.