TEL AVIV (Aug. 4)
The murder of two Afula school teachers — Yosef Eliahu, 35, and Lea Elmakis, 19 — last month was not a planned terrorist attack but was committed by three Arabs who had been threatened by Eliahu who waved a pistol at them. The three Arab youths have reportedly confessed to the double murder.
This scenario was confirmed by police sources, after the press speculated that the two teachers were victims of a random slaying. According to the sources, Eliahu and Elmakis had detoured on their way home from school and had taken a break in a wooded area on Mount Gilboa overlooking the Jezreel Valley town of Afula, where they lived and worked. Eliahu had apparently been giving Elmakis a lift home when they decided to detour.
While they were resting in the wooded area they were approached by three residents of the nearby West Bank village of Arrabuna who were out hunting in the area, as they had frequently done. The Arabs were shepherds who pastured their flocks in the vicinity. Eliahu apparently threatened the three with his licenced pistol, ordering them away.
According to this version, the three Arabs, angered by his attitude, left and then returned with a carbine previously stolen from a nearby Jewish farm. They shot Eliahu and strangled Elmakis to prevent her from identifying them. The bodies of the two teachers were found in a cave nearby. According to the pathologist’s report, neither body had been molested or mutilated.