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The Tel Aviv police have arrested two cousins from Jaljulya on suspicion of brutally robbing two elderly Savyon women, aged 77 and 95 years old, for whom they worked as gardeners.

The suspects, Ala Adas, 41, and Sami Adas, 30, were remanded for five days yesterday by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court.

The two are suspected of carrying out the robberies at knifepoint on February 25 and March 1. They allegedly tied the women up with duct tape and telephone cords and threatened to kill them. Moreover, they reportedly covered the 95-year-old woman's head with a bag, cut off her fingertips and threatened her with a cigarette lighter to get her to disclose where her valuables were hidden. Following the incident, the woman required hospital treatment.

The suspects allegedly stole the women's checks, jewelry and cellular telephones.

Police Superintendent Ronen Hahamon told Haaretz that the suspects belong to the same extended family as the suspected murderers of Aryeh Karp, who died on the Tel Baruch beach in Tel Aviv last August.

He said one of the suspects in the Savyon robberies admitted to the crimes under interrogation and reenacted them. The second suspect then also confessed, Hahamon said.

The two are expected to be charged with aggravated robbery and conspiracy, the superintendent added.

'I used to make him tea'

The 77-year-old victim, who asked to be identified only as Aviva, told Haaretz yesterday that until police informed her, she had not realized that one of the two men did occasional gardening work at her home. "When I think about how this fellow used to come, and I used to ask him if he wanted two or three teaspoons of sugar in his coffee, I could hit myself," she said.

Aviva described the robbery as follows: "[One] forcefully pushed open the door, and the two of them burst inside. Then the nightmare began ... I heard my own words, which were really funny, because all of a sudden I said, 'Oy, it's a robbery.'"

She said she told one of the robbers that she had cash in a drawer and he took it. Then he "took a knife and came and said he would kill me," and she answered, "Okay, kill me. Then what?"

After dragging her around the house, she said, they eventually left, after which she managed to free herself.