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A man's severed head and his body were found in two close but different streets in Petah Tivka yesterday. It is one of the most shocking murders in Israel in recent memory.

Police say the victim was a local resident in his thirties with no criminal record.

A maintenance worker found the severed head in a plastic bag in an apartment building's dumpster. The woman, who said she reached into the trash and felt a human head in a bag, screamed for help, and neighbors called the police, who found the rest of the mutilated corpse nearby.

"I entered the room where the garbage is, and I saw a big mess. A lot of garbage was on the floor, and I started organizing the bags when I felt something in one of the bags," the maintenance worker said. "I looked inside, and I saw a head inside the bag."

A paramedic who arrived at the scene said the perpetrator deliberately cut off the victim's head "in cold blood." Along with the head were several knives and an ax.

Central District police investigators, working in tandem with local police and forensic experts, believe the killing may be tied to underworld activity with international links.

Meanwhile, police were called to an apartment in Petah Tikva's Sprinzak Street, where the victim's body was found by a female friend who had come to visit him. The woman said the victim was a 35-year-old immigrant from the former Soviet Union.