80-year-old Israeli Man Who Burned Nurse to Death in 2017 Gets Life in Prison

In another case, man said to be disturbed is arrested on suspicion of killing father and severely injuring mother

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Asher Faraj appears in Tel Aviv District Court, September 26, 2019.
Asher Faraj appears in Tel Aviv District Court, September 26, 2019. Credit: Meged Gozani

The man convicted of fatally burning nurse Tova Kararo two and a half years ago was sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday.

Tel Aviv District Court also ordered Asher Faraj, 80, who burned Kararo to death in March 2017, to pay 258,000 shekels ($73,000) in compensation to the victim’s family.

Faraj had poured flammable liquid on Kararo, 55, and set her on fire at his local HMO clinic in Holon, after telling her a flu shot she gave him had caused him pain. He was convicted of murder in March this year.

In January 2017 Faraj, who used to visit the clinic frequently and knew the staff well, was given a flu shot by Kararo. Faraj attributed the pains and diseases he suffered to the shot and launched a series of accusations, harassments and threats against Kararo.

The indictment said Faraj planned to murder Kararo and came to the clinic with a bottle of flammable fluid and a lighter. When the nurse called him for a blood test and they were in the room together, Faraj poured the liquid all over her and set her on fire, the indictment said.

Immediately afterward he left the room, threw the bottle and lighter away and left the clinic.

“The defendant committed an especially brutal murder of Tova Kararo, while she was taking care of him,” prosecutor Kinneret Mor said. “The prosecution takes a grim view of any form of violence toward medical staff and we’ll continue fighting to eliminate this.”

Faraj’s lawyer David Mualem said his client murdered Kararo because of a mental condition.

The court rejected the defense team’s argument that Faraj was insane.

Man arrested for murdering dad

Also on Thursday, a 25-year-old man from Gan Yavne was arrested on suspicion of murdering his father and seriously injuring his mother.

Shortly after 3:30 A.M., a policeman who lives nearby came to the suspect’s family’s house after hearing shouts from inside, and restrained the suspect. First responders found the father, 58, in critical condition, a short while before he died. The mother, 56, was taken in critical condition to Assuta Hospital in Ashdod. She is now in stable condition.

A police source told Haaretz that police had been called to the suspect’s house before due to reports of violence, but the family members had never filed a complaint. One neighbor said this was not the first violent incident in that family and another said she heard frequent shouting from the family house.

Another neighbor said the suspect had been acting strangely in the past year. “He used to go wild in the synagogue and we called the police because of him several times.”

He said the suspect’s father wanted to hospitalize him forcibly, but his mother objected. “The whole synagogue loved him and cared about him, we weren’t afraid of him. He went to work every morning. I’m speechless,” he said.