‘Serial armed robbers’ to be charged in Hod Hasharon murder

Two suspects allegedly killed jewelry store owner, shot at others.

311_gavel (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Two Baka al-Gharbiya residents have been charged with the murder of store owner, Yehuda Weizelberg, during an armed robbery in Hod Hasharon.
The indictments were presented in the Central District Court in Petah Tikva on Thursday.
According to the indictments, filed by the Central District Attorney’s Office, Ahmed Akawai, 20, and Alaa Abu Moch, 21, deliberately shot and murdered 42-year-old Yehuda Weizelberg, after he gave chase to the two when they robbed his jewelry store.
The murder is alleged to have taken place as Abu Moch and Akawai targeted jewelry stores across central Israel in a series of armed robberies in August.
The first store the pair allegedly robbed is Schneider’s Watch and Jewelry Center in Ra’anana.
During that heist, Abu-Moch allegedly fired at, and missed, the shop’s owner, Ariyeh Schneider, after Schneider attempted to fight the robbers. He and Akawai fled on a motorbike, with NIS 800,000 worth of jewelry.
Several days later, Abu-Moch and Akawai are alleged to have robbed another store, Weizelberg Jewelry, in Hod Hasharon.
The indictment describes how Yehuda Weizelberg, the store’s owner, chased after the two robbers as they made off with goods.
Weizelberg managed to capture Akawai and a struggle ensued. However, Akawai is alleged to have shot Weizelberg in the chest at close range before fleeing on a motorcycle driven by Abu-Moch. Weizelberg died at the scene.
A week after that murder, Akawai and Abu-Moch are alleged to have robbed yet another jewelry store, this time on Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street.
During that robbery, Akawai allegedly fired at, and missed, the owner Aharon Papisamdov. However, Papisamdov chased Akawai and managed to grab and tear a piece of his shirt as he fled the store with around NIS 40,000 of goods, the indictment stated.
According to the Central District Attorney’s Office, which also filed a request to remand Akawai and Abu Moch, the pair were later arrested after being identified from CCTV footage in the jewelry stores.
It is further alleged in the remand request that DNA samples taken from under Weizelberg’s fingernails and on the piece of shirt captured by Papisamdov matched that of Akawai.
A separate indictment filed in the Haifa District court on Thursday charges Akawai with a second, unrelated, murder in Baka al-Gharbiya in July.
According to that indictment, Akawai decided to murder Amjad Said following a family feud.
Akawai allegedly took two handguns into the coffee shop where Said was sitting at a table with friends. With one gun, Akawai shot 11 bullets at Said, the indictment charges.
With the other gun, Akawai allegedly shot and injured five men sitting at Said’s table.