Israeli Man Indicted for Killing Woman in Front of Her Daughter

Rasha Sitawi attempted to protect herself by standing behind her daughter, but she was shot in the head before fleeing the scene, the indictment read

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Rasha Sitawi
Rasha Sitawi
Adi Hashmonai

Israel pressed charges Thursday against a 33-year-old man suspected of killing a woman in front of her daughter in November.

Rasha Sitawi, 32, was killed in her home in the Galilee village of Maghar in November last year. Police said Sitawi was at home with her 10-year-old daughter when the shooting occurred.

Nidal Dagar, from the Arab-Israeli village of Rameh in northern Israel, was charged with murder in aggravated circumstances, abuse of a minor, obstruction of justice and other offenses. The indictment did not provide a motive for the killing, but noted that Sitawi had divorced her husband 16 months earlier.

The indictment states that after the couple divorced in July 2020, Sitawi moved with her three young children from Rameh to Maghar. Last November, Dagar allegedly left the place where he had been staying with the intent of murdering Sitawi in her home. Wearing a helmet and carrying a pistol, he rode to the house on a scooter with its license plates removed, according to the indictment. 

He climbed the stairs leading to Sitawi's house, knocked on the door and entered, still wearing a helmet, the indictment said. According to the indictment, only Sitawi and her 10-year-old daughter were at home at the time. The woman tried to protect herself by standing behind her daughter, but Dagar advanced toward her and fired from a distance of less than a meter, per the indictment.

The bullet hit Sitawi in the head, but Dagar continued to advance toward the victim, firing two more shots from a meter away, the indictment said. A medical team that arrived at the scene shortly afterward pronounced her death.

The indictment said Dagar left the scene on his scooter immediately after the murder and that as he left, he crashed into a bus carrying students on a school trip but continued until he reached the outskirts of Maghar, where he hid the scooter. Allegedly, he later disposed of the pistol, helmet and coat he was wearing during the killing.

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