Police: Man Kills Lover To 'Free Palestinian Prisoners'

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A Palestinian man from the West Bank is accusing of killing his pregnant Israeli Jewish girlfriend to "free Palestinian prisoners."

Michal Halimi, 29, who was married to another man, was initially reported missing in May 2017, reports The Jerusalem Post.

Police eventually found her body in Binyamin region of the West Bank on July 24, 2017, after 29-year-old, Muhammad Harouf, confessed he killed her.

Authorities say Halimi was staying with Harouf, whom they call her boyfriend, when he killed her.

"In the course of the investigation, it emerged that the missing woman had voluntarily left Binyamin, and apparently was staying at the home of a young Palestinian man from Nablus with whom she was in a relationship," police said.

"Based on preliminary findings, including images and posts the two shared on Facebook, they intended to become engaged," police added.

Harouf insists there was no love affair, and confessed he instead strangled Halimi before bashing her head with rocks to "release Palestinian prisoners," reports the Los Angeles Times.

Harouf was arraigned on first-degree murder charges at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

It is unclear whose child Halimi was carrying.

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Halimi's family is not buying the police's "love story." They accuse authorities of making it up to cover up their poor investigation, and to make the murder look less terrorism-related.

Whatever the motive, the case provoked outrage, only raising tensions between many Israelis and Palestinians.

Many viewed it as "proof" Arabs are untrustworthy and inherently aggressive.

"An entire civilization without a conscience," wrote one person about Palestine under The Jerusalem Post's article.

"A scorpion stings, a snake bites," added another. "Why the surprise?"

It's just one of many stories depicting an interaction between Arabs and Jews in the West Bank area -- and not all of them are bad.

In July 2016, Rabbi Michael Mark was driving in the West Bank with his family when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on his car, reports The New York Times.

The car flipped over. The rabbi died, but his wife and two of his 10 children were still in the car.

It was a Palestinian man who first stopped to help the people in the car.

"I instantly stopped my car and rushed toward it to provide aid to the wounded," said Palestinian Dr. Ali Shrouk, " I didn’t care that my life, and the lives of my family members who were with me, could be at risk."

"It doesn't matter if somebody is a settler, a Jew or an Arab," he added. "Thank God we helped them."

Islam al-Bayed, another Palestinian, also immediately rushed to help the family, The Associated Press reports.

"I didn't think of the occupation or the conflict," he said. "I thought only of human beings, children who needed my help."

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, AP via Business Insider / Featured Image: Travel 2 Palestine/Flickr / Embedded Images: SuperJew/Wikimedia Commons, Chris0/Wikimedia Commons

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