Israeli Bedouin Indicted for Allegedly Brutally Murdering His Sister

A few months after Renin Rahal left her Galilee home, her brother allegedly hunted her down and murdered the young woman in a forest.

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Hussein Rahal in Nazareth District Court facing charges of abducting and murdering his 19-year-old sister Renin Rahal. Feb 14, 2016.
Hussein Rahal in Nazareth District Court facing charges of abducting and murdering his 19-year-old sister Renin Rahal. Feb 14, 2016.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

A man from the Galilee Bedouin village of Zarzir was charged at the Nazareth District Court with abducting and murdering his 19-year-old sister last month.

He was also indicted for arson and causing grievous bodily harm.

According to the indictment, the victim, Renin Rahal, and her sister Rana left home a few months ago, to their brother Hussein’s dismay. Last August, Hussein, 22, saw Renin while he was sitting in a car with their mother and another sister. When Renin tried to run away, Hussein threatened to shoot her. He drew out a pistol and cocked it.

Renin continued to run and Hussein ran her over, injuring her leg. Following this incident, the court issued a restraining order against Hussein and other family members. He was summoned to the police for interrogation. According to Superintendent Eyal Harari, head of the homicide unit at the police’s Northern District, Hussein managed to escape.

According to the charge sheet, last month Hussein decided to murder his sister. He went to Kafr Manda carrying a hammer, a cable and a bottle containing flammable material. From there he traveled with friends to the village of Mashad, where his sister was staying. When she refused to get into his car he grabbed her, assisted by his friends, and forced her in. They went to a wood near Kibbutz Hanaton, where he struck her 11 times in the head with his hammer, shattering her skull. He then poured the flammable liquid on her, set her body on fire and fled.

A few days later Hussein was arrested on a bus in Haifa. Hussein and the victim’s uncle, Moussa Alheib Rahal, denied the accused’s culpability.

Attorney Shmuel Barazani, representing the accused, said others involved in the murder had not been arrested. Barazani criticized the police, saying they could easily have found Hussein Rahal and arrested him while he sought for escaping arrest before the murder. “If the police have been looking for him since August, they could have found him in Haifa, where he lives with his soldier girlfriend,” the attorney said.