Mohammed Harouf, a Palestinian from Nablus, was sentenced on Sunday to life imprisonment for murdering Michal Halimi from the West Bank settlement of Adam.

Harouf and Halimi

Harouf and Halimi Photo credit: Facebook

An Israeli court on Sunday sentenced Mohammed Harouf, a Palestinian from Nablus, to life in prison for the murder of Michal Halimi, a Jewish settler with whom he had had a romantic relationship.

Harouf was convicted of murder earlier this month after his lawyers signed a deal with the Israeli prosecutors whereby he would be given a life sentence and pay a 258,000 shekel fine.

Halimi, who was married and pregnant during her relationship with Harouf, went missing in late May of 2017. According to the investigation, she willingly left her home and moved in with Harouf. A few days later, Harouf tried to talk her into coming to Nablus with him. When she refused, he proceeded to strangle her for about 15 minutes until he was certain she was dead. He then hid her body under a pile of dirt, took her car and credit cards and fled to Tayibe.

Halimi’s husband, Aharon, says the police failed to act on the information he had given them about Harouf’s threats to kidnap his wife.

In court, Harouf denied having had any sort of relationship with Halimi and claimed he had committed the murder on nationalistic grounds. “We were not a couple,” he said. “I wanted to kidnap her and exchange her for prisoners.”