Brazil extradites Israeli convicted in 2004 killing of Palestinian
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Brazil extradites Israeli convicted in 2004 killing of Palestinian

Yehoshua Elitzur, whose 2014 arrest in Sao Paulo ended a decade-long manhunt, will appear in court for a remand hearing upon landing

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Yehoshua Elitzur during his initial trial (screen capture: Channel 2)
Yehoshua Elitzur during his initial trial (screen capture: Channel 2)

An Israeli citizen who fled the country after being convicted in the killing of a Palestinian taxi driver in 2004 was extradited from Brazil on Wednesday.

The Justice Ministry, in a statement, said it would file a request to arrest Yehoshua Elitzur once the 46-year-old arrives back in Israel. He is set to appear before the Tel Aviv District Court for a hearing on his remand.

Elitzur, originally a German national who converted to Judaism, was found guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Sael Jabara al-Shatiya in September 2004 near the West Bank city of Nablus and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

According to the indictment against him, Elitzur flagged down Shatiya, 46, who was driving toward him in a van. Armed with an M-16, Elitzur stood in the middle of the road and demanded the Palestinian halt and get out of the car.

Poor road conditions prevented Shatiya from pulling over where Elitzur demanded, and he continued driving and began to pull over further down the road on the shoulder, at which point Elitzur shot and killed him.

Elitzur claimed that he had acted in self-defense, and that Shatiya was trying to run him off the road, but witnesses at the scene denied this claim.

He was initially accused of murder, but was convicted of manslaughter after prosecutors couldn’t prove he had intended to kill Shatiya.

He had been placed under house arrest in the Itamar settlement prior to beginning his sentence, but managed to flee the country, first to Germany and later to Brazil.

After a decade-long manhunt, he was captured by Interpol and Sao Paulo authorities in June 2015. Brazilian media reported that Elitzur had entered the country using false identification.

AFP contributed to this report.

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