Palestinian man confesses to murdering pregnant Israeli girlfriend
Mohammed Harouf confesses to strangling and beating his girlfriend Michal Halimi to death, despite her being eight months pregnant; Jerusalem judge extends remand pending indictment, leading Harouf to have outburst in court, vowing to 'kill all the Jews!'
Details of the arrest and the victim were only cleared for publication by police Wednesday morning after the suspect was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court for a hearing on the extension of his remand.
At his entrance to the court for his hearing, Harouf was asked by reporters why he did it, to which he responded, "I wanted to release prisoners." He later denied that the murder was related to a romantic relationship between the two, and then proceeded to kick guards before being physically removed from the court room shouting, "I'll kill all the Jews!"
Halimi's body was discovered and identified last week in sand dunes near the city of Holon.
Police reported that Harouf was questioned several times in connection with the murder before confessing and even reconstructing the crime.
According to Harouf, he met Halimi in Holon before strangling her, striking her in the head with a rock and covering her body in the sand before leaving the site in the victim's vehicle.
On May 23rd, Michal Halimi was reported missing. In a statement related to the disappearance, she was last reported to be in a blue Suzuki.
Following an investigation by police, Halimi was discovered to have left her home of her own volition and was apparently staying at the house of a young Palestinian man from Nablus, with who she was in a relationship.
The two had posted pictures on Facebook indicating their intention to become engaged.
As the investigation progressed however, Harouf was questioned several times and became a suspect when inconsistencies in his statements regarding the whereabouts of Halimi began to arise.
At that point, police in the central district began to employ increasingly sophisticated technological means of investigating Harouf and detained several more suspects from the Tayibe area that were found to be involved.
During questioning, the additional suspects confirmed to police that the two were involved in a romantic relationship and on the day of her disappearance, the two met in the Holon area where she was probably murdered.
On July 24th, Halimi's body was discovered in sand dunes near Holon following an extensive search and later positively identified at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.
Michal's husband disputes police version
Aharon Halimi, Michal's husband, disputed the version of events as told by police, which indicated that his wife Michal was having an affair with Harouf.
"The police presented a version and we reject it. We still haven't buried by wife, but after we do and after we sit Shiva, we will respond and sue to the police. The truth will come to light. It is important that justice comes to light," said Halimi.
Halimi added, "She was five months pregnant when she disappeared. Our relationship was very good and we were waiting for the child. This is entirely a nationalistic issue and not a romance."
According to relatives, Michal was in contact with Harouf after leaving her home. According to them, she indicated to Harouf that she wanted to leave him and return to her husband, which prompted the murder.
Ravid Boyar, the ex-wife of Aharon, explained the connection between Michal and Harouf and explained how he was caught. “They got to know each other at the age of 17 through social networks and over time their connection dwindled out. Half a year ago they reestablished their connection and the moment Michal disappeared we suspected that if something had happened to her, only ‘Hamudi’ could have harmed her and we went straight to the police," she said.