Three Israeli Brothers Suspected of Murdering Mother, Hiding Her Body

The three brothers, residents of the northern Bedouin village of Zarzir, were arrested on suspicion of murdering their mother, whose body was uncovered near the Jordan River

Adi Hashmonai
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The scene where the mother's body was found, on Saturday.
The scene where the mother's body was found, on Saturday.Credit: Israel Police
Adi Hashmonai

Three brothers from the northern Bedouin village of Zarzir were arrested on Friday on suspicion of killing their mother.

Upon the arrest of the brothers, aged 20, 23 and 28, a 26-hour search began for the body of the mother, a 46-year-old resident of Nof Hagalil. Her body was uncovered on Saturday at a remote area near the Jordan River.

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Residents of the village said that the woman's family, which is still based in Zarzir, held her funeral on Sunday. The woman left the village, and her first husband, 15 years ago. 

Police opened the investigation on Friday morning, when a private car broke through a police barrier in the Jordan Valley area, rousing the suspicion of officers. Police forces began the search for the vehicle and its occupant.

Over the course of the investigation, police suspected that the disappearance of a Nof Hagalil resident may be connected to the case, and that the driver who broke through the barrier is her son, and that he may have murdered her.

Later on Friday, the same driver broke through another police barrier, which had been erected following the investigation. Police hurried after him, and he was arrested after pursuing him on foot near Nahalal. His two brothers and additional family members were arrested as well. 

The brothers' detention has been extended through Monday. There is currently a gag order on the details of the investigation.

Past years have seen rising violence in Israel's Arab community. Sixty-four Israeli Arabs have been murdered so far this year – including 10 from East Jerusalem – compared with 51 last year. Police have helped solve only 23 percent of murders in the Arab community last year, compared to 71 percent of murders in the Jewish community.

This week the government budgeted over 1 billion shekels ($310 million) for a Public Security Ministry plan to fight crime in the Arab community. As part of the program, there will be more police stations in Arab towns and a special unit to prevent crime in the community.

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