Farhan's family deals with painful reality

Brother of Dana Bennet's alleged murderer says family "strongly condemns" multiple killings.

Yihye Farhan bennet killer 248.88 ch2 (photo credit: Channel 2)
Yihye Farhan bennet killer 248.88 ch2
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The neighbors, friends and family of Adwan Yihya Farhan in their small Arab village of Wadi Hammam near Mt. Arbel and the Kinneret, said Tuesday that while they had known Farhan had problems, they had never dreamed they could be this severe. "I knew that he was suspected in the girl's disappearance, but not about the [other] murders," Farhan's brother, Ziyad Farhan, told Army Radio on Tuesday. "I know from the media that he has been remanded in custody and is a suspect, to my great dismay, in the murder of the girl from Tiberias." But Ziyad Farhan said his family's status as a "security family" made the charges that much more painful to accept. "My brothers have served in the army, they've served in the police," he said. "My father was an IDF soldier who fought for the country, including during the War of Independence, where he was wounded. I have followed in his footsteps in my love of the Jewish people, and I am shocked by these acts. My whole family is shocked." Farhan further condemned the acts allegedly committed by his brother, saying "it doesn't matter if it's true or not, it is very disgusting. We reject this outright and strongly condemn these horrific acts." Farhan also said he had visited his brother in custody, but vowed never to speak to him again. "He is not worthy of being a button on my father's shoe," he said. "And I offer my condolences to the family [of American-Israeli teenager Dana Bennet]." Farhan also phoned Bennet's father, Binyamin, on Tuesday afternoon and offered him his condolences. "There are no words that can express my sorrow," Farhan said in the call, which was broadcast on Channel 2. "I feel like you are like a brother, like family," he said. "Our pain is like your pain, even worse." Bennet's father told Farhan that he did not hold the family responsible for the attack. "Dana, in my heart, is the living and vibrant Dana, and this has given me the strength and the force to carry on for all these years," Binyamin Bennet said. He voiced full support for the police investigation, even though the suspected killer had been in and out of jail, and said that the public's support in the six years since his daughter disappeared had helped him live through the tragic ordeal. "Knowing all these years that the public was supporting us and feeling our pain gave me the strength to deal with this tragedy. It was a privilege I will always remember," he said. Bennet's cousin said that the news offered the family some closure. "When we heard all the details, it was a type of closure," said Ma'ayan Gil. "But this is not how we wanted the case to end - we wanted to see Dana alive."