Police (illustration)
Police (illustration)Gil Ronen

According to new information reported by Channel 2, the man brutally murdered outside his home in the Jordan Valley last week, Sraya Ofer, had encountered his Arab murderers two weeks earlier, when they approached his home. They aroused his suspicion in that encounter and he reported the license number of their car to police.

Police deny that they could have done more to follow up on Ofer's tip, and that his murder could thus have been prevented.

When the two killers came near his home for the first time, Ofer approached them with his gun in his hand, and with his dog next to him. The two told him that they were on their way north in their car, which had overheated, and asked for water for the car's cooling system

Ofer gave them water but suspected that they were lying, and followed them as they returned to their car. He noticed that they headed south, and not north as they had told him. He called the police's hotline number, 100, and reported the vehicle's license plate number.

Following the report, a police car came to his home at Brosh Habik'a, and a professional tracker was also summoned, when the doors of two vacation homes were found to be open, raising suspicion of a break-in.

There were no signs of a break-in, however, and a police check of the car's license plate number found that it had not been stolen. Police therefore decided not to pursue the matter further.

After the murder, a police investigator who checked Ofer's cell phone found the record of the call he had made to police. Investigators listened to the recording of that call, and based upon the license plate number of the car Ofer reported, they were able to track down his killers.

Police denied Friday that there had been any negligence on their part, and that following up more thoroughly on Ofer's initial report could have prevented the murder. Judea and Samaria Police Commander, Major General Kobi Cohen, said, “All of the required actions were taken, and since no offense had been committed and the vehicle appeared innocent, there was no reason for additional action by the investigators.”