The Tel Aviv District Attorney’s office served an indictment in the city’s
district court on Thursday, charging three men with murdering the leader of
Jaffa’s Orthodox Church Association.
Attorney Gabriel “Gabi” Cadis was
stabbed to death on January 6, Orthodox Christmas day. His murder has shocked
Jaffa’s Christian community.
According to the indictment, a legal dispute
over a valuable Jaffa property motivated the three defendants – 24-year-old
Tawfik Dalo, 26- year-old Fuad Abu Maneh and their uncle, 55-year-old Talal Abu
Maneh – to conspire together and murder Cadis.
The property, an apartment
on Ahiluf Street in Jaffa’s increasingly expensive Ajami neighborhood, belonged
to the Orthodox Church Association.
According to the indictment, Talal’s
mother had lived in the apartment, the value of which is estimated at NIS 10
million, under “d’mei mafteah” (key money) conditions, meaning she paid
below-market rent for its use.
When she passed away, the church demanded
that the Abu Maneh family return the apartment.
Earlier this week, police
revealed that there had been a protracted legal conflict between the two sides,
as the Abu Maneh family said that Cadis and the association had no right to
evict them from the apartment.
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According to the indictment, by December
the conflict had intensified, after Cadis refused to withdraw the legal case
over the apartment.
In late November, Talal allegedly said he could “send
one of his brother’s sons” to Cadis’s office to “eliminate” him and that he had
connections who could “get him out of jail within five years.”
indictment further says that at an association meeting on November 28, Talal
warned Cadis that if he did not terminate the legal proceedings, he would be
harmed and “blood would flow.”
As a result of his fight with Cadis, the
indictment charges, Talal decided to have the Christian leader
Allegedly Talal turned to his nephews to help him, and the three
plotted to carry out the murder during Jaffa’s Orthodox Christmas celebrations
on January 6.
The three purchased a Santa Claus costume and a knife,
which Fuad carried, the indictment charges.
At around 5 p.m. on that
date, as Jaffa’s Orthodox Christian community enjoyed a Christmas parade, Fuad
and Dalo allegedly waited on Yefet Street, a central thoroughfare in Jaffa, with
two other members of the Abu Maneh family..
Forty minutes later, Fuad and
Dalo allegedly joined the Christmas parade as it entered the church on Louis
Pasteur Street. According to the indictment, the two planned to stab Cadis in
With the Christmas celebrations in full swing, Fuad
allegedly donned the Santa costume and waited in the churchyard. As the
celebrants made their way from the church to the yard, the indictment continues,
another member of the Abu Maneh family turned out the lights, as Fuad and Dalo
tried to carry out their plot. However, they did not succeed.
to the indictment, the two left the churchyard and followed Cadis into Yefet
Street, Fuad still wearing his Santa disguise.
In a parking lot outside
42 Yefet Street, Fuad hid behind a parked car and pulled out his knife, while
Dalo kept a lookout. Allegedly the two then stalked Cadis to the corner of Yefet
and Yehuda Hayamit streets, where Fuad launched his attack, stabbing the
Christian leader twice in the back and puncturing his aorta and lungs with an
11- centimeter-deep wound.
He and Dalo then fled the scene, the
indictment charges, and Fuad ran to Talal’s house, where he changed his shirt
while Talal photographed him with another family member to create a false
Meanwhile, Cadis was rushed to the Wolfson Hospital in Holon, but
was pronounced dead on arrival.
Together with the indictment, the Tel
Aviv District Attorney’s Office also served a request to remand the three in
custody for the duration of the legal proceedings. The three will be formally
arraigned on February 12.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.
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