lipaz himi 298.88.
(photo credit: Channel 1)
A Palestinian illegal worker, under arrest for the murder of an eight-year-old Beit Shemesh girl, sexually molested and then raped her before strangling her to death, police said Sunday.
The body of the girl, Lipaz Himi, was discovered by a Palestinian laborer near a stairwell at the rear of the Beit Shemesh market early on the morning of May 4.
The murder suspect, Anwar Ahdush, 35, of the West Bank village of Tzurif in the Hebron area, who worked in the market, also allegedly murdered a Beit Shemesh drug dealer the same week.
A court gag order which had been imposed on the police investigation was lifted Sunday.
The murder suspect was one of five Palestinian illegal workers apprehended by police in the market immediately after the girl's murder. The other four men arrested in the case were not connected to the murder, and three of them have since been released without being charged.
The alleged child murderer has confessed to carrying out the murder, and has reenacted the attack, police said Sunday in a summation of the case.
According to police, the Palestinian planned the murder well in advance, and knew his young victim, who liked to stroll in the market near her home.
The day before the murder, the attacker lured the girl with an offer of NIS 2, and then sexually molested her in the market stairwell, where he and his coworkers would sleep, police said.
The next day, the Palestinian noticed the girl strolling through the market in the evening hours with a scooter. This time, he tempted her with NIS 10, led her to the stairwell, raped her and then strangled her to death with her belt, one of her shoelaces, and a chord, the police said.
After the murder, he covered up her body with a blanket, and went up to the roof of the building, where he washed his face and changed his clothes, according to the police reenactment of the crime.
Immediately after the murder, he met another Palestinian illegal laborer, and asked him to leave the area because "police were in the area," police said.
The second Palestinian worker refused, and stumbled on the body. But he returned to his work without reporting the incident, the police said.
At about 10:00 p.m., as the five Palestinian workers assembled for dinner in the market, another one of the laborers came across the body while looking for something to drink. After consulting with his coworkers, they decided to tell a Jewish resident to summon police so that police would not suspect them in the crime, the police said.
The suspect originally told police that the murder was terror-related, but after subsequently confessing to carrying out the rape, he said it was criminally-motivated, the police said.
The suspect is not affiliated with a Palestinian terror organization, and since the girl was raped before being murdered, police are officially classifying the killing as "criminally-motivated."
In an effort to throw police off the case, the suspected child murderer hugged the girl's body in the presence of the Jewish man who was summoned to the scene to "explain" why his fingerprints were all over the girl's body, police said.
DNA tests link the suspect with the rape of the girl.
Shlomo Himi, the uncle of the deceased girl, said Sunday that it was "inconceivable" that the murder was not terror-related.
"Since when are eight-year-old Jewish girls just killed by Palestinians?" he asked.
During the police investigation, it emerged that the murder suspect was also behind the murder of a Beit Shemesh drug dealer, police said.
The drug dealer, David Ben-Hamo, 50, was found dead in his city flat, located just 200 meters from where the girl's body was found.
The Palestinian, who had carried out renovations at the man's apartment, confessed to killing him for selling drugs to Jewish and Arab youths, police said.
On the night of that murder, the Palestinian attacker allegedly beat him in the head with an ax, and then wrapped him in a blanket, before setting the house on fire.
After murdering the drug dealer, the Palestinian apparently said, "Now you can sell drugs to God," police said.
Two Jewish residents of Beit Shemesh had been arrested later in the day on suspicion of involvement in the murder. It later emerged that they had only beaten the man's body after he was already dead, police said.
Meanwhile, the alleged murderer took part in his victim's funeral the next day.
One day later, he allegedly murdered the girl as well.