Arab cabbie murdered by homeless man

Suspect admits that the motive of the murder was racial; Taxi co-workers call for 24-hour strike.

crime scene 248 88 generic (photo credit: Courtesy)
crime scene 248 88 generic
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A 28-year-old homeless man with a record of violence confessed that earlier in the day he had stabbed to death a taxi driver because he was Arab, the police said on Monday. The victim was identified as 41-year-old Imad Khouri from Haifa. The incident occurred near Khouri's taxi stand in Kiryat Yam. According to the reports, Khouri had gone to urinate in a public park near the stand. His assailant got angry at him for urinating and an argument broke out, during which the suspect allegedly stabbed the taxi driver. Khouri managed to return to the stand and then collapsed. Before losing consciousness, he gave a short description of his assailant. First aid workers said Khouri had been stabbed in the chest and arm and suffered a severe loss of blood in a short time. The workers tried to resuscitate him but he died in the meantime. Soon afterwards, the police who had launched a manhunt for the killer, came across a suspect and found a bloody shirt in his bag. The man was known to the police. He was taken to police headquarters where he confessed that he had killed Khouri because he was an Arab. The suspect is due to be brought to court Kiryat Yam Magistrate's Court on Tuesday to have his remand in custody extended. Meanwhile, taxi drivers serving on Khouri's Kiryat Yam-Haifa route called for a 24 hours strike to mourn his death. Taxi drivers at the Kiryat Yam stand accused the owner of the company, Avraham Freed, of not caring for their needs, including not providing a bathroom for them. The fact that the drivers urinated in the park has created tensions with nearby residents. Fried told the internet news site Ynet that he had applied for a permit from the municipality two years ago to build a proper station and blamed the municipality for the delay. However, a spokesman for the city said no such application had been made.