Samaria resident extradited for Arab taxi driver's death

46-year-old former resident of Itamar in Samaria extradited after being convicted of manslaughter in Arab taxi driver's death.

David Rosenberg,

Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion Airport
Flash 90

A German-born Israeli citizen convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of a resident of the Palestinian Authority more than a decade ago was extradited from Brazil back to Israel on Wednesday.

Yehoshua Elitzur, 46, was born in Germany, but later converted to Judaism and immigrated to Israel, settling in the town of Itamar, in Samaria.

In September 2004, Elitzur shot and killed an Arab taxi driver, Sael Jabara Al-Shatiya, on Route 557 in Samaria.

According to Elitzur, he opened fire on the driver with his M-16 in self-defense, after Al-Shatiya refused to heed Elitzur, who flagged him down while standing in the road. Elitzur claimed Al-Shatiya intended to run him down, and opened fire to protect himself.

The court rejected Elitzur’s description of the incident, however, and found him guilty of manslaughter.

Elitzur was sentenced to 20 years in prison and placed under house arrest before the start of his jail term, but in 2005 managed to flee the country using his German passport, eluding authorities for a decade before INTERPOL located him at a hideout in kosher restaurant in Brazil.

It took more than a year before Israel secured Brazil’s agreement to extradite Elitzur. Last August, the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled in favor of Israel’s request, paving the way for Elitzur’s extradition to Israel.

Following Elitzur’s return to Israel Wednesday, he is slated to be brought before a judge Thursday before beginning his 20-year prison term.


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