YERUSHALAYIM - Yehoshua Elitzur, an Israeli who has been on the run for over a decade after he shot and killed an Arab driver whom he said aimed to run him down, is to be extradited from Brazil to Israel, where he will be tried on charges of manslaughter and evading arrest. A Brazilian court responded positively to the requests by Elitzur’s attorneys that he stand trial in Israel, where the incident occurred, after he was captured in 2015 by Brazilian police and Interpol.
The incident occurred on September 27, 2004, when Elitzur, a dual German-Israeli citizen, was driving between the towns of Itamar and Elon Moreh in Shomron. According to Elitzur, a van driven by an Arab was driving at high speed towards him. He stopped at the side of the road, and got out of the vehicle. The Arab continued driving at high speed, with Elitzur claiming that he was driving right towards him. He raised his weapon and demanded that the Arab stop, but the vehicle continued driving – and when it was barely a meter away, he told investigators, he shot the driver, killing him.
Elitzur then alerted authorities, who arrested him. He was eventually released to house imprisonment until he was to be tried for manslaughter, a charge that could have netted him 20 years in prison. Once home, he disappeared – using his German passport and forged documents to leave the country. He eventually ended up in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where he lived in hiding for nearly a decade, working in a kosher restaurant in the city – but authorities caught up with him in 2015, and he has been detained in a Brazilian jail since then. According to Israeli police, Elitzur was captured days before he was planning to leave for Argentina, which does not have an extradition agreement with Israel.