A 61-year-old man was stabbed to death Monday night in a small town outside Netanya after encountering a number of suspected house burglars.

Initial investigations suggested that Itzik Algabi was stabbed by thieves who had broken into his daughter’s house, located on his plot of land, according to Israel Radio.

Algabi, a long-time resident of the rural community of Avihail on the outskirts of Netanya, entered the home and found the thieves inside. The thieves are suspected of stabbing Algabi and fleeing the scene.

After the victim had been missing for some time, his family came to the house and found him in the courtyard in a pool of blood.

Magen David Adom paramedics arrived at the scene and pronounced him dead shortly thereafter.

Police began a manhunt for the suspects and were investigating the possibility that the perpetrators were from the Arab population. Border Police trackers were detailed to the scene of the crime to assist in the hunt.

Police had not ruled out the possibility that Algabi’s death was nationalistically motivated.

“This is a serious incident,” a Sharon district police officer told Channel 10.