David Ben-Kafra, a 70-year-old Jewish farmer from Rehovot, was beaten to death on Wednesday in an orchard near Moshav Pedaya in central Israel. Several Palestinians are suspected of committing the murder.
Ben-Kafra, who was found alive but critically wounded, was hospitalized at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries. The police were not ruling out nationalistic motivations for the attack, although other avenues are also being investigated.
Ben-Kafra’s son, Daniel Bar, is a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Religious Services and is also the interim spokesman for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Bar told reporters on Wednesday that “we are waiting for information from the police and are certain it will do its job faithfully.”
Another family member told Israel Hayom, “We have no doubt that the murderer is either an illegal or legal Palestinian resident. He was a person who was loved by everyone, who never had problems with anyone. The police’s questions are irrelevant. This is a nationalistic matter, he has no enemies. He’s a farmer, a father of five, grandfather to 14 grandchildren.”
A large Israel Police and Border Police force arrived at the scene of the attack. When it became apparent that the attackers were Palestinian, it was decided to involve investigators from another security agency. According to initial police information, the attackers are Palestinians illegally residing in Israel. Police units conducted a search of the area, although no arrests had been made as of Thursday.