Mohammed Harouf, a Palestinian Authority resident of Shechem was arrested Wednesday in connection with the murder of his 29-year-old Israeli girlfriend, Michal Halimi, who has eight months pregnant at the time of her death.
Details of the arrest and the victim were only cleared for publication by police Wednesday morning after the murderer 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 courtroom 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 Muslim man from Shechem 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 Muslim 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.