An Israeli farmer who was found badly beaten in a field in central Israel Wednesday afternoon, allegedly by Palestinians who were in Israel illegally, succumbed to his injuries hours later.

David Bar-Kapara, 70, a resident of Rehovot, was discovered Wednesday afternoon near Pedaya, in serious condition, with signs of violence on his body.

He was evacuated to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, suffering multiple wounds and head injuries, and was pronounced dead several hours later.

Police could not immediately ascertain whether the motive was criminal or nationalistic.

Two illegal Palestinians who are suspected in the killing fled the scene, and police were searching for them.

Representatives of the Shin Bet security service also arrived at the scene to investigate whether it was a terror attack.

Police detected a strong odor of pesticide at the scene, according to the report.

It was not immediately clear if the odor was linked to the Bar-Kapara’s death.