27-year-old Indicted for Murder of Ex-girlfriend Near Kibbutz in Northern Israel

Riad Rushrush had been accused of regularly beating Tehila Nagar during their year-and-a-half relationship, and she filed a domestic violence complaint weeks before her murder.

Tehila Nagar.
Courtesy of the family

Riad Rushrush, 27, was indicted Wednesday for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Tehila Nagar a month ago. He denies all the charges, his attorney said.

Nagar, 31, from Kibbutz Ginosar on the Sea of Galilee, was found dead near the Migdal intersection, which is near the kibbutz. Her body showed signs of serious violence. Rushrush is from the nearby mixed Druze-Muslim-Christian village of Maghar in eastern Galilee.

Rushrush and Nagar dated for a year and a half, and he has been accused of beating her regularly during this period. Nagar continued with the relationship while trying to hide the violence from her family and friends, giving excuses when asked about the bruises covering her body.

A few weeks before the murder, Nagar filed a domestic violence complaint with police against Rushrush. He was arrested and held for five days and a two-week restraining order was issued, but the case was later closed for lack of evidence because Nagar refused to testify against Rushrush.

The police say Rushrush felt she had betrayed him by filing a complaint. He is charged with premeditated murder, assault and battery, suborning witnesses and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors asked the court to keep him in jail for the duration of his trial.

Riad Rushrush in a Nazareth courtroom, January 18, 2017.
Rami Shllush

Rushrush was accused of contacting Nagar three days before the murder and asking to meet with her. She refused at first, but later agreed and they went to a cafe in Tiberias. Rushrush, who was driving his brother’s car, is charged with stopping the vehicle while they were on the way back and bashing her skull, killing her.

He returned the car the next morning and police later found traces of Nagar’s blood inside.

Her body was found the next morning on the side of the road by a workman who saw her feet in the bushes and called police.

The indictment lists a number of incidents in which Rushrush attacked Nagar, causing her physical injuries, and threatening her that if she told anyone he would publish intimate pictures of her in his possession.