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Police suspect a 19-year-old male from the village of Rama was involved in the killing of his cousin in her Haifa apartment a year and a half ago. Anan Hessin is suspected to have murdered his cousin Rim Kassem in an honor killing on January 10, 2007.

Hessin was arrested by police two weeks ago for allegedly smuggling 32 kilograms of heroin from Lebanon. He was arrested together with another Rama resident, and an indictment against them will be filed with the Haifa District Court today.

During Hessin's interrogation, police began to suspect he was involved in an armed robbery in the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams, together with two other residents of Rama in their 20s. Police yesterday arrested the two other suspects, who told police during their questioning of Hessin's alleged involvement in the murder of his cousin.

Rim Kassem, originally from the village of Rama, lived in Haifa and worked as a teacher. Since her murder, police have been unable to solve find the culprits.

"It's still very far off, and we're only at the beginning of the investigation," said a police officer. "We're not sure where this will lead at this stage."

Kassem's family rejected suspicions that the murder was an honor killing.

"I don't know what the police are basing this on," said Kassem's layer.