Bedouin woman’s uncles accused of murdering her, burning body
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Bedouin woman’s uncles accused of murdering her, burning body

State says Hanan al-Bahiri, 19, was killed by relatives who thought her decision to work after divorce would bring family 'dishonor'

Hanan al-Bahiri (Courtesy Israel Police)
Hanan al-Bahiri (Courtesy Israel Police)

Three men will be indicted Sunday for murder in the death of their relative, a young Bedouin woman who they believed would “dishonor” their family, the state prosecution said.

Hanan al-Bahiri, 19 and recently divorced, disappeared on May 3 in her hometown of Lakiya, north of Beersheba, shortly after speaking on the phone with her mother and telling her she was on her way home.

Her mother reported her disappearance, prompting a police investigation and the arrest of six family members. One of the suspects eventually confessed and led officers to al-Bahiri’s remains, buried near one of the family homes.

Police say al-Bahiri’s two uncles, Sager and Yunes, as well as Yunes’s son Mahmad, grabbed her on the night of May 3 and questioned her over her divorce, then murdered and buried her.

Prior to her death the 19-year-old had been married off to a disabled man. Required after her divorce to return the traditional “bride price” her family had been paid, and orphaned of her father, al-Bahiri began working.

Her uncles and cousin were allegedly concerned that her newly independent lifestyle would lead her to meet and date men, bringing “dishonor” upon their family.

After kidnapping and questioning her over her dealings, the three broke her neck, then burned her body and buried the remains, police said.

State prosecutors in Beersheba were set to present indictments against the three in court on Sunday.

The suspects deny the allegations against them.

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