'Property dispute behind Jaffa Christian murder'

Police say that ownership of NIS 10m. building behind stabbing of Christian leader Cadis by attacker dressed as Santa.

January 31, 2012 12:45
1 minute read.
Gabriel Cadis funeral in Jaffa

Gabriel Cadis funeral in Jaffa 311. (photo credit: Tamir Kalifa)

A prominent Christian leader was murdered in Jaffa at the start of January due to a prolonged dispute over a valuable property, police said on Tuesday, following the lifting of a media ban on the investigation.

Three suspects, all Israeli Christians from the Abu Mane family, are under arrest for the slaying of Gabriel Cadis, 61, who was the chairman of the Jaffa Orthodox Church Association.

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The attacker, disguised as Santa Claus, stabbed Cadis during a procession to mark the Orthodox Christmas, before fleeing the scene.

The murder has stunned members of the Christian community in Jaffa.

Two suspects are under arrest for carrying out the homicide and one for plotting it. All three have denied any link to the murder, and say they were at home at the time.

Police say the Abu Mane family claimed ownership of a Jaffa building estimated to be worth NIS 10 million, but Cadis had purchased it on behalf of the Church Association.

A protracted legal conflict between the two sides ensued.

During the court dispute, members of the Abu Mane family tried to prove that they had been living in the building, and that Cadis had no right to remove them from it. The dispute was heading towards a verdict when the murder occurred, police said.

“The suspects wanted to get rid of Cadis so that the case would collapse,” a police source said.

One of the suspects, Talal Abu Maneh, ran for the position of chairman of the Jaffa Orthodox Church Association twice in the past, and lost to Cadis on each occasion. The last round of elections took place in December 2011.

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