3 weekend murders bring total to 15 since beginning of year

Body found after Jaffa blaze; two teenagers gunned down at Beersheba store.

crime scene 88 (photo credit: )
crime scene 88
(photo credit: )
Three people were murdered in less than 24 hours in two separate incidents over the weekend, bringing to 15 the number of murders since the beginning of 2007. Police said Saturday they had strong leads in cracking both cases. Police discovered the latest murder by chance, after firefighters were called shortly after midnight Saturday to respond to reports of a fire on Rehov Michelangelo in Jaffa. The firefighters extinguished the blaze, only to discover a body lying among the charred remains of the apartment. Police, including Yiftah Subdistrict commander Asst.-Cmdr. Moti Cohen, arrived on the scene to investigate the death of the unidentified male. Investigators said the body showed clear signs of violence. The body was sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir for an autopsy. Suspicions mounted later that night when another resident of the same Jaffa apartment building arrived at Ichilov Hospital for treatment for severe burns on his hands, which police believe may have been caused while setting a fire to hide evidence of the murder. Police said they were examining whether or not the burn victim had been involved. Police said they believed that the murdered man had been living in the apartment illegally. Less than 10 hours after the incident, police announced they had uncovered evidence in the murder and arrested five suspects. One of them, a 19-year-old Jaffa resident, is suspected of murdering the man, and the four others (a man and three women) are suspected accomplices. Sources close to the investigation added that detectives have already amassed incriminating evidence against the suspects. The Jaffa murder came less than a day after two teenagers were gunned down at a corner store in the pedestrian area of Beersheba's Old City. An initial investigation indicated that three youths, including the two murdered, had spent the early morning hours in a nearby dance club, where, according to police, they got drunk. A fight apparently erupted between the three youths and another individual at the club, which was broken up. At some point, witnesses claim, police were called to the scene of the brawl, but the witnesses said that the patrol car drove by without taking any measures to restrain the youths. The teenagers left the club sometime after 5:30 a.m., and within minutes MDA received the first call reporting shots fired at the corner store. Ruslan Kobeiyev, 18, and Eitan Ismailov, 16, were pronounced dead at the scene. The third, a 17-year-old, was rushed to Soroka Medical Center in serious condition, where he was reported stabilized and in moderate condition. Police suspect that the subject with whom the youths had fought at the night club followed them outside - or perhaps waited for them outside - where the fight renewed. At some point, a handgun was pulled out, the youths fled into the corner store and were then shot by the assailant, who fled the scene. Police said they believed they would soon identify and locate the shooter. Hours after the shooting, assistant Beersheba station Chief Dep.-Cmdr. Yitzhak Asraf held a meeting with the owner of the store, which Asraf later decided to close for 30 days. But there was no word as to whether the dance club - where the underage victims apparently did their drinking - was being investigated or closed.