Taxi driver found shot dead in Ashdod

Police looking for assailant; motive unclear; Umm el-Fahm woman killed by her brother.

taxi 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
taxi 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Eliyahu Batonshvili, 50, was found shot dead inside his taxi on Rehov Hannah Szenes in Ashdod early on Saturday morning, after neighbors reported gunshots. Batonshvili was murdered by an unknown suspect, police said. At least one eyewitness told officers he had seen the murder from the window of his home, but police emphasized that they did not have any specific leads, and were unsure of the motive behind the killing. Police were unable to rule out either mistaken identity or robbery in the death of the father of two, who only began to work as a taxi driver a few weeks ago. This was the second serious attack targeting a taxi driver in as many months. On February 20, a driver was seriously wounded when two men beat, strangled and stabbed him in the eye with a screwdriver and then left him for dead by the side of a deserted road leading to Palmahim Beach before driving away in his vehicle. The victim, Ya'acov Mizrahi, 72, lost an eye. Later on Saturday, a 20-year-old woman was fatally shot in the backyard of her home in Umm el-Fahm. Her husband took her to the town's medical center in critical condition, where she succumbed to her wounds shortly afterward. The husband told police he did not know who shot his wife, but the woman's brother later admitted that he accidentally shot his sister while he was playing with a gun for which he had no license.