I didn't know about this until a few minutes ago, when I read about it on Yeranen Yaakov:
The murderer (!) recently gave Shiurim in Elad. One of the attendees reported: "Just yesterday, he gave an informative shiur in the synagogue about the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and Sinat Hinam and caused many people from the audience to cry." Someone else said, "He recently requested from us to pray that Mashiah Ben Yosef should not die. He expressed the idea that the Mashiah is here and it's forbidden to allow him to die."Time will tell, and this will all be sorted out. But it sounds like there was some connection between this fellow, Rabbi Asher Dahan's, messianic beliefs and his actions. Did he think that Rav Eliezer Abuchatzera was somehow preventing the arrival of mashiach.
Again, a murder that makes absolutely no sense at first glance...
I'll obliquely mention that I was recently worried about certain Jewish apocalyptic bloggers, who seemed to think their opponents were causing spiritual and physical harm to the Jewish people, and were therefore halachically 'rodfim'. Could this be such an instance, I don't know. Maybe he thought that by murdering Baba Elazar, he would bring mashiach, or prevent mashiach ben Yosef from dying. Or maybe he thought Baba Elazar was mashiach ben Yosef, who had to withdraw before mashiach ben David arrived.
I would point to this earlier story, in which Rav Elazar Abuchatzeira links his withdrawal with the arrival of mashiach, though not in precisely this manner:
With Divine Providence, I found out the reason why the Kabbalist Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira Shlita stopped seeing the public... In this week's edition, 7 Nissan 5768, the religious newspaper Maayanei HaYeshua brought this fabulous, earth-shattering, exciting story...
"...This week I had the opportunity to drive with a Rav. Never in my life did I experience such a conversation as I had with this Rav.
After a long silence, the Rav asked me, "Do you know that Moshiach is already here!?"
"What?!" I looked at him in wonder, "What does the Rav mean?" I asked.
The Rav answered, "Didn't you hear about the Mekubal in Be'er Sheva?" At this point, the Rav mentioned the famous Mekubal's name (nk: Kabbalist Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira Shlita). "He has decided to stop seeing the public. His chasiddim explain that the Rav said that Moshiach is hiding amongst the people and all that needs to be done is to discover him. The minute he will be 'discovered', Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira told them, "Moshiach will receive the public and therefore, I'll no longer be necessary."
Shock overcame me. "It sounds... in this manner... very serious."
Update: According to this report, it had nothing to do with mashiach:
According to reports, Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira, a grandson of the famed Baba Sali, was allegedly stabbed to death at his yeshiva by a local man who was unhappy with the rabbi's marital advice.
But we will have to see how this shapes up. He had gone in the past for marital advice, so this might be speculation as well...
Further update: Via Matzav and JPost:
The motive for the homicide has not been established at this stage. Dahan’s attorney said that his client said that he did not intend to kill Baba Elazar and he was sorry for his actions, according to an Army Radio report.