A hired underworld assassin shot dead the Haifa director of the Ashkenazi Hevra
Kadisha (Burial Society), Benny Hesse, last year after being paid NIS 50,000,
police announced on Wednesday, following the arrest of a suspect.
who was 68, was walking home with his wife in January 2011 when a gunman waiting
in ambush opened fire on him from close range, striking him multiple times and
He had been director of the Haifa branch of Hevra Kadisha
for more than 20 years.
The Coastal Police central unit said a
breakthrough occurred in the investigation last November, when a worker
accidentally found the handgun hidden between rocks at a Beit Shemesh mikve
The gun was sent to a police lab and found to be a ballistic
match to a firearm stolen in Haifa in 2001. The gun was traced to a suspect
named by police as Yitzhak Hazan.
“We were able to link Hazan to the
murder scene,” said Asst.-Cmdr Eli Asayag of the central unit.
did not cooperate with police during questioning and has not confessed. Northern
state prosecutors will charge him with murder on Friday.
arrested his divorcee on suspicion of assisting Hazan, but later released her
They believe Hazan was paid NIS 50,000 for carrying out
the shooting. He told police he received the money for renovation
Police arrested two men from the Haifa area on suspicion of
ordering the shooting, but later released them without charge.
Radio said the men had ties to the Kurdish Hevra Kadisha in the
Detectives believe the homicide was ordered due to a dispute over
how the burial society was being run.
One suspicion is that the dispute
was over finances and the division of a cemetery in Haifa.