A Lod court on Sunday upgraded the conviction of Ala’a A’azi, a 25-year-old Arab from the village of Beit Laqiya, from manslaughter to murder for the killing of Israeli farmer David Bar Kappara, Hy”d,, in 2015. A’azi and his cousin Mujahad A’azi were both indicted on murder charges for the murder, but the courts downgraded the charges to manslaughter, of which both were convicted. On Sunday, after appeals by the family, Ala’a A’azi’s conviction was upgraded to murder, while Mujahad A’azi remains with the manslaughter conviction.
Bar Kapara was found bloodied and beaten in an agricultural field between Pedaya and Carmei Yosef in central Israel on June 23, 2015. He was taken by rescue workers to the Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tzrifin, where he was niftar a short time later.
According to the indictment, the two A’azis, who were in Israel illegally, with Mujahad telling his cousin that he intended to collect money he claimed Bar Kappara owed him. The two approached the victim early in the morning of the murder, and observed him selling grapes from his vineyard to a third party. Mujahad, who had indeed worked for Bar Kappara, believed that the farmer would take the money to his safe, as he preferred doing business in cash.
The two then decided to rob the victim, and they approached Bar Kappara, demanding that he release the cash. Bar Kappara refused, and the two began beating him, and dumped insecticide over his body. Bar Kappara passed out, and the two searched him for cash – but found only a set of keys. They covered up his unconscious body, all the while continuing to beat him, and finally fled.
The court’s decision came after months of protest by family and supporters, decrying the conviction on the lesser charges, and the fact that the case was investigated as a criminal and not a terrorist case. In a statement, the Prosecutor’s Office praised the courts for upgrading Ala’a A’azi’s conviction. “It was the extreme violence they inflicted on him that killed the victim. Based on that, the court on Sunday accepted the position of prosecutors and upgraded the conviction against him to murder. We join in the suffering of the family and send our condolences,” the statement added.