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Arab Workers Suspected in Murder of Farmer in the Plain of Sharon

August 20, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A tomato farmer in the village of Kfar Ya’abetz in the Sharon Plain was murdered Wednesday, and police are searching for three Arab workers in connection with the case.

The incident is being regarded as related to the intifada.

The dead man was identified as Bechor Hajjaj, 55, a father of three daughters and two sons, ages 24 to 36.

His body was found around noon near his hothouse. He had been beaten to death with a blunt instrument and also strangled.

His assailants apparently escaped in his van, which he had parked under an awning next to the hothouse.

Hajjaj had gone out to his field at 6 a.m., as usual. He took on three Arab workers supplied by an Arab labor contractor to replace those who usually worked for him but had not shown up.

The laborers were employed for tomato picking and packing.

When he failed to show up for breakfast at 10 a.m., his wife went out to the fields to look for him. When she found both him and his vehicle missing, she notified the police.

Police found the body shortly thereafter, hidden under sacks near the hothouse. They believe the murder was committed early in the morning, as only three packed cases of tomatoes were on the pickup bench.

Large forces of police fanned out over a wide area to search for the assailants.

The area in which the murder took place is located in the Tel Mond bloc, southeast of Netanya, inland from the coast. The region is densely populated with old villages, in which many Arabs are employed in agriculture.

A year ago one farmer was murdered in Moshav Kadima, and a month and a half ago a similar murder took place on Moshav Batzra. All of these murders are being considered related to the Palestinian nationalist cause.

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