Man to be charged with executing woman in front of her child

Nidal Dagher suspected of shooting Rasha Sitawi in the head in contract killing, as she was helping 10-year-old daughter with homework

Rasha Sitawi. (Courtesy)
Rasha Sitawi. (Courtesy)

A man will be charged on Thursday for the murder of a woman who was shot dead last year in front of her young daughter in an apparent contract killing at the family home.

According to the indictment, it is believed Nidal Dagher was paid to murder 30-year-old Rasha Sitawi in November 2021.

Hebrew-language media reports said the motive for the killing remained unknown.

The suspect, 32, is from the town of Rameh. Sitawi was a divorced mother of three who had moved from Rameh to the nearby northern Druze-majority town of Maghar in the wake of her divorce.

Sitawi was helping her 10-year-old daughter with her homework when the gunman entered her home.

The shooter came into the home with his gun drawn, and according to the police investigation, Sitawi was immediately aware of the danger and began to beg for her life.

Nidal Dagher (Courtesy)

The suspect is accused of shooting the woman in the head at close range, in front of the girl and despite the child’s cries.

After Sitawi fell to the ground, the suspect approached her and fired two more bullets at her from a distance of less than one meter to ensure that she was dead, the indictment said.

Dagher then allegedly fled the scene on a scooter and attempted to hide the evidence.

Police said that they used “advanced technological means” to track down Dagher and arrested him in a woods days after the murder as he was trying to retrieve the scooter he had hidden there.

He has denied murdering Sitawi.

Dagher was charged with murder, assault of a minor, obstruction of justice and driving without a license and without insurance, and driving while disqualified.

A number of other people have been arrested in connection with the case and released, including Sitawi’s ex-husband.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly by organized crime. Arab Israelis blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women. The community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

Activists have long complained that not enough is done to prevent violence against women in Israel.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed