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20 Arabs Being Held As Suspects in Brutal Murder of Moshav Member

June 21, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

At least 20 Arabs are being held as suspects in the murder of Eliahu Cohen, 33, whose mutilated body was found Monday morning in the vineyard of Moshav Shekef, in the Lachish region.

Gen. Amram Mitzna, Israel Defense Force commander of the central sector, said the murder was most likely political. But the police have not ruled out other motives, though robbery apparently was not one of them.

Police investigating the crime said Cohen appears to have been stabbed first and then hit in the head with an iron bar. The upper half of his body was mutilated.

But police said that his personal possessions were untouched and the tractor he was driving was intact.

When Mitzna visited the moshav later in the day, he was greeted by angry residents. They charged that neighboring Arab villagers have been harassing them for months and the army ignored their complaints.

“Shekef is not alone. The war here is very complicated and difficult,” Mitzna told them.

The moshav was established seven years ago. It consists of 33 families who tend vineyards and orchards. Many also work outside the moshav.

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