Mohammed Harouf, a Palestinian Authority resident of Nablus, was convicted Sunday as part of a plea deal of the murder of an Israeli woman with whom he was in contact.
While the original indictment made no mention of nationalism as a factor in the murder, the plea included Harouf’s admission that the murder was nationalistically motivated.
Harouf, who faces life in prison, was arrested in August 2017 after the body of 29-year-old Michal Halimi, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death, was found near the city of Holon.
During his interrogation, Harouf confessed to have strangled Halimi and striking her head with a rock. He said he then covered her body and left the scene in her car.
In addition to murder, Harouf was also convicted of car theft and of conspiring to commit a crime.
“The defendant murdered the deceased while she was carrying a baby in her womb, strangled her and tossed rocks on her. He didn’t even bury her, and instead left her covered in leaves, sand and a tire,” a representative from the State Attorney’s Office said at court.
“We’ve accepted the defendant’s version, according to which the murder of the deceased was nationalistically motivated, over the fact she was Jewish,” he added.
Halimi’s parents welcomed the plea deal. “Today, what we’ve been saying all along has been proven to be the truth,” said Gita, Michal’s mother.
She decried claims her daughter, who was married, had been in a romantic relationship with her killer. “We knew our daughter for 30 years. We raised her and we knew she was incapable of doing the things written about her. She was pregnant and happy. We, her parents, didn’t know anything other than the fact she was very stressed and threatened in her final days.”