Moshe Yaish-Nahari, the brother of a prominent rabbi in Yemen was shot to death on Thursday in Rida, Yemen, located north of the capital Sana'a, the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
Local sources said the suspected killer, Abed el-Aziz el-Abadi, a former MiG-29 pilot in Yemen's air force, has been apprehended and taken in for questioning.
Eyewitnesses told the newspaper that el-Abadi had confronted Nahari at the market in Rida, called out to him "Jew, accept the message of Islam" and then proceeded to open fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Nahari was struck by five bullets.
Gunned down. Moshe Yaish-Nahari
According to the preliminary investigation, the suspect had murdered his wife just two years ago, but avoided jail time by offering her family compensation.
Deputy head of security of the Amran province, Ahmed el-Sarihi, told Asharq Al-Awsat that el-Abadi is "an extremist who suffers from mental problems".
According to the security official, the suspect has admitted to killing Nahari, and told his interrogators that "these Jews must convert to Islam".
Nahari is the brother of Rabbi Yehiya Yaish, one of the leaders of Yemen's Jewish community.
Haviv Nahari, the victim's brother-in-law who resides in Ashkelon told Ynet that the family was in "total shock" upon hearing of Yaish's murder.
"We spoke to him just last Saturday and asked him how his family was doing," Haviv told Ynet, adding "we knew there was anti-Semitism in Yemen, but I never imagined someone would take a rifle and murder a Jew on the street in broad daylight."
According to Haviv, three years ago his sister and her husband decided to make aliyah after visiting Israel a few times.
"They sold their house and we prepared for their arrival, but at the last moment Moshe's father changed his mind and convinced them to stay in Yemen," he said. "My sister is now a widow with nine children.
"My sister took it very hard. She cried and passed out," he said.
Haviv said Moshe (35) worked as a butcher in the local Jewish community, and in recent years had strengthened his ties to the Satmar Hasidic movement in Yemen.