Police: Assassin killed Chevra Kadisha director

Gun found in mikve leads police to Yitzhak Hazan who they say was paid NIS 50,000 to kill Benny Hesse last year.

May 9, 2012 13:22
1 minute read.

Handgun (illustrative) 370. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


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.

Hesse, 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 killing him.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

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 ritual bath.

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.

Hazan, 49, did not cooperate with police during questioning and has not confessed. Northern state prosecutors will charge him with murder on Friday.


Police also arrested his divorcee on suspicion of assisting Hazan, but later released her without charge.

They believe Hazan was paid NIS 50,000 for carrying out the shooting. He told police he received the money for renovation works.

Police arrested two men from the Haifa area on suspicion of ordering the shooting, but later released them without charge.

Israel Radio said the men had ties to the Kurdish Hevra Kadisha in the North.

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.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night