(photo credit: Courtesy)
The badly beaten body of a 70-year-old Jewish man, identified as Reuven Shmerling, was found by police Wednesday in a building he owned in the industrial zone of Kafr Kasim, some 20 km. east of Tel Aviv.
While details of the homicide remain unclear, police said they are investigating if Shmerling, a resident of Elkana, was murdered by Arab employees over a monetary dispute.
According to a first-responder, Shmerling was initially found by his son.
“When we arrived at the scene we were led to a building where we found a man of about 70 lying unconscious,” said Magen David Adom paramedic Adi Marciano.
“He was not breathing and had no heartbeat. We performed medical tests and he did not show any signs of life. We were forced to declare his death at the scene.”
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said an investigation had been opened.
“Forensics evidence was taken from the scene, and police are now searching the area for the suspects involved,” he said.
Shmerling is survived by his wife and four children.
Asaf Mintzer, head of the Elkana Local Council, said that Shmerling’s family intended to celebrate his 70th birthday on the day he was killed.
“We are in shock and sorrow together with the Shmerling family over the terrible murder of Reuven, who was supposed to celebrate his 70th birthday today,” said Mintzer.
“It is impossible to understand a situation in which a 70-year-old Jew goes to Kafr Kasim and is found slaughtered,” he continued. “We do not know anything other than the fact that his son found him in such a terrible situation.”