Bedouin Woman Found Dead After Exorcism Ceremony in Southern Israel

Police have arrested the woman's husband and a spiritual leader who treated her after she became indisposed

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

A Bedouin woman was found dead in southern Israel Monday after apparently taking part in an exorcism ceremony performed by her spiritual leader.

Police have arrested the Mai al-Nabari's husband, the spiritual leader, and a doctor from Tel Sheva on suspicion of involvement in the death of the 26-year-old woman from Tel Sheva.

The spiritual leader, 64, treated on the woman after she had felt unwell, a police investigation shows.

During the treatment, her condition worsened and her relative – a 32-year-old doctor – was called to assist.

Hasin al-Refi'a, a relative of al-Nabari, told Haaretz that Mai was taken to the spiritual leader after she fainted at home. According to al-Refi'a, who based his testimony on what al-Nabari's brother had told him, the leader wrapped his hands around al-Nabari's neck, and she fainted again.

He avoided saying whether the spiritual leader strangled Mai. "That is for the police to find out. They need to examine what exactly happened there," he said.

After her condition deteriorated even further, al-Nabari was taken to a local clinic in Tel Sheva, where she was pronounced dead.

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