Funeral held for Israeli woman suspected of being killed in Turkey by family

Mourners in Umm al-Fahm remember Siwar Keblawi as ‘quiet, nice and modest,’ don’t address murder allegations against father and brother

Mourners carry the coffin of Siwar Keblawi during her funeral in the northern city of Umm al-Fahm on February 9, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Mourners carry the coffin of Siwar Keblawi during her funeral in the northern city of Umm al-Fahm on February 9, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral on Saturday of an Israeli student suspected of being murdered in Turkey by her family.

The funeral was held in the northern city of Umm al-Fahm, after Siwar Keblawi’s body was returned to Israel overnight.

Keblawi, 20, had been living in Izmit with her father when she was killed. Both her father and brother are being held by Turkish authorities over her murder.

“Siwar was a quiet, nice and modest woman. She never hurt anyone in her life. The things I heard were shocking and since the incident I can’t sleep at night and just think about what happened to her,” one of Keblawi’s friends said in a eulogy, according to the Ynet news site.

A relative of Keblawi’s thanked those at the funeral for their support but would not comment on the suspicions against her father and brother.

“I call on everyone to wait until the end of the investigation and not publish rumors. All we know is that Siwar fell from the fourth floor and there is no other information. Any out of place statement will hurt the whole family,” the relative was quoted saying by Ynet.

Ahead of the funeral, the Umm al-Fahm Municipality called for businesses in the city to shutter for two hours as a sign of mourning, the Kann public broadcaster reported.

Siwar Keblawi. (courtesy)

According to a report Thursday by the Walla news site, Keblawi had fled to Turkey where she was living with her father after being threatened in a “family dispute,” but her older brother managed to find their location and came to Turkey.

After initially telling authorities that she had fallen from a third-floor balcony in an apparent suicide, Turkish police pieced together evidence and now suspect Keblawi was strangled by her brother.

The brother arrived in Izmit from Israel earlier this week and the two are believed to have gotten into a fight on Wednesday evening, at which point she locked herself in a room with a balcony. Her brother then allegedly broke the door down, and Keblawi is thought to have jumped off the balcony. She was badly hurt in the fall, but alive.

Police believe she jumped from the balcony in an attempt to escape the two men and was murdered shortly thereafter.

According to Turkish media the brother and the father are then suspected of carrying her back into the home, where one, or both of them, strangled her and killed her. Bruises were discovered on the victim’s neck.

Video aired by Turkish media Thursday showed the two carry the young woman out of the yard — at a point when police believe she was still alive. Both are under arrest.

Keblawi had enrolled as a student at a local university after joining her father in Izmir a few months ago. Israeli police said they knew the details and were cooperating with the Turkish authorities, Walla reported.

The brother being held in Turkey was recently suspected of involvement in an incident in which Israeli police officers were shot.

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