Israeli court rules pregnant settler's murder was political, not personal

Michal Halimi, 29, who was two months pregnant at the time of her death, went missing last May.

February 4, 2018 18:02
1 minute read.
Israeli court rules pregnant settler's murder was political, not personal

Michal Halimi.. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


TEL AVIV - Israeli judges ruled on Sunday that a Jewish settler killed by a Palestinian with whom she was in a relationship was the victim of a political attack rather than a personal one.

Michal Halimi, 29, who was two months pregnant at the time of her death, went missing last May. Her body was discovered outside Tel Aviv in August, and Israeli police arrested Mohammed Harouf, a Palestinian.

Harouf, 30, said in a televised statement to the court in August that he had targeted Halimi “to free prisoners”. His lawyer, Elad Rath, said that Harouf's plan had been to abduct Halimi and swap her for Palestinians held in Israeli jails, but that when she resisted he strangled and bludgeoned her to death.

Halimi was married and lived in the settlement of Adam in the occupied West Bank. Harouf, from Nablus, was working as a gardener in Holon, south of Tel Aviv, on the day of the murder.

Israeli prosecutors initially treated the case as non-political. Israeli media reprinted a photograph that had circulated on Facebook of Halimi and Harouf embracing and smiling.

But on Sunday, prosecutors agreed to a plea bargain under which Harouf will serve a life sentence for murder.

The amended indictment said Harouf had been in a "personal relationship" with Halimi but that he had attacked her "out of nationalistic motives, as she was Jewish," in effect designating him as a Palestinian militant.

This means that Halimi’s next-of-kin will be entitled to state stipends given to relatives left bereaved by political violence.

Harouf's family, in turn, can expect payouts from the Palestinian Authority, which offers such support to relatives of those killed or jailed for attacks on Israelis. Those Palestinian stipends have come under increased scrutiny by Israel and have drawn US threats of funding cuts.

"This arrangement is important not least because it spares the (victim's) family further grief," lead prosecutor Raed Anuz told the three-judge panel.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Minister of Education Naftali Bennet with Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz
February 18, 2019
Bennett on Poland: We cannot allow anyone to revise history