Police: Palestinians Who Killed Israeli Farmer, 70, Were Thieves, Not Terrorists

One of David Bar Kapra’s two assailants previously worked for him

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Workers pick grapes during the harvest at a vineyard.Credit: AFP

The Israel Police has solved the murder of 70-year-old farmer David Bar Kapra in late June, saying his Palestinian assailants were trying to steal his money and the crime was not nationalistically inspired.

Bar Kapra, of Rehovot, was found seriously injured in a field near Moshav Pedaya, where he grew grapes, and later succumbed to his wounds at Assaf Harofeh Hospital.

Mujhad Dar Atzi and his cousin Alah Dar Atzi from Beit Liqya, both 22, are suspected to have beaten Bar Kapra after demanding he give them money.  

Police Central District Commander Moti Cohen praised the district investigative unit that led the investigation, which was launched by the Shin Bet security service and later transferred to the police. 

The two suspects were arrested a day later in Beit Liqya, and detained for questioning. Their remand was extended numerous times. Police officers learned during questioning that Mujhad was employed by Bar Kapra for roughly two months before the murder.

The night before the murder, the two cousins left Jerusalem and slept in fields near Moshav Pedaya. On the day of the murder, at around 11:30 A.M. the two spotted a merchant coming to buy grapes from Bar Kapra. After the merchant left, the suspects approached Bar Kapra and demanded money. A fight ensued, and the pair apparently beat Bar Kapra with a stick. They then fled the scene, after searching his body for money. 

Shortly after their arrest, the two suspects were taken by police to the scene, where they reenacted the events that led to the murder. They were taken Thursday to a Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court for a hearing to extend their remand, where the prosecutor pointed to the intention to issue indictments and requested they be detained for the duration of legal proceedings.

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