Over a hundred people, many of them from the UK Olim (immigrants to Israel) community, gathered in Netanya’s cemetery on Monday for the funeral of Mancunian Alan Kaye, 79, who was brutally murdered in his Netanya flat in what Israeli police are calling a “burglary that went wrong”.
Alan, who made Aliyah eight years ago, lived in a modest ground-floor flat in the city’s “Dora” neighbourhood. Helena Dahan, his daughter, 50, who also lives in Netanya, told police she heard strange noises coming from the flat when she went to visit on Saturday night.
“I tried to open the door but [the attacker] surprised me. He was inside with a hammer in his hand. My dad tried to fight him. I tried too, but he attacked me and ran away,” she said.
The Magen David Adom crew pronounced Alan dead at the scene. Helena was treated for her injuries at Laniado hospital.
The police launched a helicopter and a drone search of the area, and the following day arrested a 37-year-old local man together with two of his relatives, who matched the description given by both Helena and another of the neighbours.
Helena reached out through social media to members of the British Olim community, with a special request for people to attend her father’s funeral, as they do not have many family in Israel. Dozens answered the heartfelt plea, including the city’s mayor, Miriam Feirberg. Raphael Katz, the Rabbi of Netanya’s MacDonald shul, spoke of the importance of mourning someone whose death is so inexplicable and cruel.
At the graveside, Helena was supported by her brother Johnny. “I’m so sorry, Dad. You were such a good dad. Nobody deserves to die like that.”
Among the crowd of strangers and acquaintances stood Iris, a small woman in her sixties, clearly distraught and carrying a wreath. “I used to visit him once a week, from social services,” she said.
“He was such a lovely man, and always had lots to talk about. He spoke very good Hebrew. We’d both smoke, and gossip. We celebrated his birthday two months ago by going out for coffee. He was waiting and so looking forward to his son’s upcoming visit.”
Iris said that Alan was always extremely security-conscious. “I told him to always lock his doors; he had bars on the windows. I told him, in that neighbourhood you can’t be too careful.”
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