Bereaved dad: I felt suffocated, justice is done

Ya'akov Dadon, whose 19-year-old daughter was brutally murdered, welcomes court decision to stop Arab takeover of his neighborhood.

Ben Shaul ,

Ya'akov Dadon
Ya'akov Dadon
Hagai Aharon/Flash 90

Ya'akov Dadon, a resident of Afula whose 19-year-old daughter Shelly was brutally murdered by an Arab terrorist in 2014, welcomed the Nazareth District Court's decision on Sunday to cancel tenders for a new neighborhood in Afula Ilit due to Arab price fixing.

All 48 land tenders were won by Arab bidders, and a petition was able to prove that they had illegally coordinated their bids to create an instant Arab neighborhood.

Dadon, who was a leader of the protest opposing the attempted Arab takeover of the city, praised the court while saying, "it's too bad the Afula municipality and the Israel Land Authority didn't already reach these conclusions."

"I sold my apartment in the neighborhood and moved to another neighborhood. I felt suffocated. I felt I couldn't continue to live in a neighborhood whose character was about to radically change," he said.

"I'm very happy about the court's decision. There is no doubt that justice was done here."

The court made its ruling based on evidence showing the price fixing; in nine of the plots for two families each identical bids won the tender, each for 255,555 shekels (nearly $66,000). The identical offer for the unusual sum clearly indicated coordination.

In several other plots, bids won out that appeared to have been coordinated in advance to be close to those of the nine plots; the bids were for figures such as 255,777 shekels and 255,888 shekels.

In response to the decision, the Afula municipality said, "the court had its say and in this way ends the case that occupied residents of the city of Afula, and even caused arguments and emotional turmoil."

"We hope that with the end of the case, the city will continue to focus and concentrate on its development and thriving."

Dadon's daughter Shelly left her home in Afula for a job interview in Migdal Haemek on May 1, 2014. She got in a taxi driven by Hussein Halifa, but he drove her to an abandoned parking lot in the industrial area. Dadon felt that something was wrong and, in a chilling recording, called her cousin to tell her she was in a frightening cab and she "couldn't breathe."

Halifa then took a long knife and stabbed Dadon 17 times as she tried to escape from him. He left her to bleed to death in the parking lot, and drove off. 

Ya'akov Dadon earlier said that while his daughter was stabbed 17 times, upon learning of the Arab takeover of the new neighborhood, he felt that he was "stabbed 50 more times."