Jaffa Christian Leader Murdered Over Real-estate Dispute, Israel Police Say

Suspect in murder of Gabriel Cadis, head of Jaffa's Orthodox Church Association, says stabbing was linked to legal battle over property worth NIS 10 million.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Police unveiled Tuesday further evidence regarding the murder of a senior leader of the Christian community in Jaffa.

Gabriel Cadis, 51, head of Jaffa's Orthodox Church Association, was stabbed on Friday January 6, after a service at St. George's Church. Witnesses say the assailant was wearing a Santa Claus hat.

According to a suspect, Cadis was murdered following a rift over the ownership of real-estate assets belonging to the association. Tzalel Abu Ma'ane, a former head of the association, is suspected of ordering the murder, while two of his relatives, Tutu Dalu and Fouad Abu-Ma'ane, are suspected of carrying out the crime.

Gabriel Cadis, head of Jaffa's Orthodox Church Association, who was murdered in Jan. 2012.Credit: Ahmed Mashharawi

Cadis had been representing the Orthodox Church Association in a legal battle against Abu Ma'ane. Cadis, who, according to the police, "had no criminal background", demanded Abu Ma'ane return assets that Cadis claimed belonged to the organization, including Beit Sari in Jaffa, a property situated by the sea and worth an estimated 10 million shekels.

Police suspect that Abu Ma'ane believed only the murder of Cadis would allow him to continue holding the asset.

Cadis, a father of four, was stabbed in the back at 6:30 P.M. on Greek Orthodox Christmas Eve as he was preparing to lead a parade from Louis Pasteur Street to Yefet Street in the center of town.

Relatives and friends near Cadis at the time of the attack said they only realized what had happened after he fell to the ground. They called the police and ambulance service, but after three minutes they took him to the hospital themselves. He died on the operating table at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.

Following the murder, police arrested six members of a Jaffa family in connection with the stabbing.

Cadis' death is a blow to the community, many of whose members saw him as key person to help solve the city's problems.

Read this article in Hebrew.