A suspect has been detained in connection with the murder of an Israeli woman found beaten to death in the West Bank overnight Saturday-Sunday, police said on Sunday.
The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of the suspect, a man in his forties, by four days, rejecting the police’s request for a 10-day remand.
The woman, identified as Howaida Shawa, 45, and her husband, who has not been named, were found in a car on Route 505, near Yakir Junction in the West Bank early Sunday morning. The husband sustained light injuries in what he told police was an armed robbery.
The couple was from the Israeli port city of Jaffa; the husband told police that they had visited an Arab village near the Israeli settlement of Yakir when they were attacked.
Shawa’s brother, Mohammed, told Ynet that the family was shocked by the death, and that they learned of it after the couple’s son called him in the middle of the night to say his parents had not returned.
The brother said he arrived at the couple’s home, where their daughter told him that “her father had spoken to her and told her that her mother was dead,” he said, adding that relations between his sister and her husband were good.
“We need to discover the truth,” he told Ynet, “we cannot sleep and we cannot think. We want to know the truth.”
Relatives of the couple said that “there are many unclear things about this incident. They have no enemies and they are a successful couple with a good relationship. If they don’t find the criminals behind this, this incident could occur again.”
A gag order was placed on some details of the case.
Police were alerted at around 2:20 a.m. Sunday of the attack. Officers who arrived at the scene found the car with a smashed windshield. Civilians at the scene were trying to provide first aid to the victims.
The suspect has denied any involvement in the incident. His defense attorney, Alaa Talawi, said, “my client denies the charges being made against him,” according to Ynet.