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Israeli extradited from Brazil over killing of Palestinian taxi driver

Israeli occupation forces [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Israeli border policemen [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

An Israeli-German dual national has been extradited by Brazil to Israel, where he is facing charges for a 2004 killing of a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank, reports Ynet.

Yehoshua Elitzur, who the paper calls "a Jewish convert from Germany", was convicted of the 2004 killing of Palestinian taxi driver Sael Jabara al-Shatiya.

At the time, Elitzur was living in a hilltop settlement in the West Bank.

According to the indictment cited by the paper, "Elitzur was driving towards the settlement of Alon Moreh when al-Shatiya was heading in the opposite direction with seven passengers".

When Elitzur noticed the van, "he decided to stop the driver by stopping his car in the middle of the road before alighting his vehicle carrying a fully-loaded M-16 rifle".

"Standing in the middle of the road, he instructed the van driver to stop. When the driver refused to obey his command and continued driving, Elitzur approached it and threatened al-Shatiya by pointing his weapon at him at close range".

Read: No charges for Israel soldier who killed Palestinian child returning from swimming

"The indictment claims that due to the road conditions the car could not stop, and al-Shatiya continued driving, turning right toward the shoulders of the road with the intention of stopping there. Elitzur then shot at him once, and the bullet penetrated the car window and killed al-Shatiya".

Elitzur was convicted of murder in September 2005, but "fled the country before sentencing" (though JTA reports he was ultimately convicted of manslaughter).

According to Ynet, "Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Elitzur, who was tracked down by the efforts of the Israeli police's international division".

Arrested in Sao Paulo, he was cleared for extradition by the Brazilian Supreme Court, and "put on a plane to Israel this week".

Elitzur's defense attorney said his client returned to Israel "to try and prove his innocence".

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