An Israeli citizen was gunned down over the weekend in Cape Town, South Africa, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The ministry said in a statement that it was made aware that a citizen was killed during a gun battle on Saturday, though a relative told media it was still unclear exactly what had happened.
Israeli media identified the man as Abdel Fattah Nassar, 23, a resident of the so-called Triangle of Arab Israeli towns in the central region of the country.
It added that the family of the deceased had hired a local attorney to help in dealing with South African authorities, and was waiting for the results of an autopsy before the body is brought back to Israel.
A family member told the Walla news site Sunday that Nassar was “a good guy” and that he traveled to South Africa to join his cousin who lives there, hoping to study or find work.
The relative said that although the family was informed of Nassar’s death, the circumstances still weren’t clear. “At first they told us that it was a car accident. Afterwards, there were all kinds of rumors that he was murdered. We still don’t really know exactly what happened.”
The Israel Hayom newspaper reported that Nassar had ties to organized crime in Israel. According to the unsourced report, there were two family members with him, one of whom was seriously injured.
The newspaper said that Nassar was part of the Marwan Nassar crime family based in Tira and had been arrested several times in recent years on suspicion of violent crimes, including shootings and possession of firearms.
The Foreign Ministry said it was unaware of any other Israelis injured in the incident and that its department for Israelis abroad was helping to coordinate matters with local authorities.
Nassar moved to South Africa to distance himself from the gangland fighting in Israel and hoped to engage in real estate in South Africa, according to the report.