maalot cab murder 248 88.
(photo credit: Channel 10 [file])
Hamze Hamze, a taxi driver from the Arab village of Beit Jan, was found dead in his cab on Thursday morning in the western Galilee city of Ma'alot.
Earlier that night, police began searching for Hamze after a passenger he was supposed to pick up reported that the driver had failed to show up at his address.
Hamze, 48, was found early in the morning with his throat slit after a municipal maintenance worker heard noises emanating from a stationary vehicle in one of the city's parking lots. Upon closer inspection of the taxi, he discovered Hamze's body.
Police and Magen David Adom crews were alerted to the parking lot, located near a school. Hamze's vehicle was found in a dead-end street, raising suspicion that he had not driven into it of his own free will.
Although the motive for the murder was unclear, police stated that a robbery may have taken place, adding that the possibility of a long-standing feud would also be taken into account.
Severe signs of trauma and violence were discovered on Hamze's body, causing police to assess that a passenger the taxi driver had picked up during the night or early in the morning had left him to bleed to death.
Friends and acquaintances described Hamze as a calm, pleasant man who had mostly worked night shifts.
An investigation was launched to determine what the deceased had been doing in his final hours and who he had contacted by phone.
Hamze was survived by his wife and four children. Prior to his death, he had been planning his son's wedding, scheduled to take place in the coming months.