Relative remanded in killing of 18-year-old in Lod 4 days before her wedding

Relative remanded in killing of 18-year-old in Lod 4 days before her wedding

Two suspected family members reportedly signed document vowing to protect Diana Abu Kafitan after she fled home due to threats over engagement

Illustrative: An Israeli police car (Roy Alima/ Flash90)
Illustrative: An Israeli police car (Roy Alima/ Flash90)

A relative of an 18-year-old Bedouin woman shot dead in the central city of Lod was remanded for seven days on Thursday, and a second family member was remanded for four days, a day after their arrest.

Diana Abu Kafitan was killed on Wednesday morning, four days before her wedding was due to take place, in a shooting in the Pardes Snir neighborhood of the central city of Lod. Her grandfather was lightly injured.

Police suspect the shooting was carried out by a family member who was opposed to her marriage to Bakr Abu Ghanem from the city of Ramle, a source told the Haaretz daily. Abu Ghanem’s family was against the engagement and wanted him to marry a member of his extended family.

During Thursday’s hearing at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court, one of the detainees asked his family not to bury the young woman until he was released because he wanted to be present at the funeral. The two relatives reportedly had previously promised they would not harm Abu Kafitan after she refused protection from the authorities.

Two other suspected family members were arrested Wednesday. It was not immediately clear whether they had been released.

Abu Katifan’s mother was murdered eight years ago in what Channel 12 said were “similar circumstances.”

Abu Katifan reportedly fled her family home with her fiance to the West Bank a month before her death. The police source told Haaretz that the couple’s decision to flee to Ramallah led to the decision that Abu Kafitan should be killed, as the escape went against accepted traditions in Bedouin society.

When she was reported missing, police became involved in the case. After Abu Katifan was located by the authorities, she was reportedly offered protection or a place in a women’s shelter, but refused.

According to the report, Abu Katifan was then moved in with a family in Ramle, but had to leave after three days when her hosts began to fear for their own safety.

Police then arranged for the two families to meet and it was agreed that the wedding would take place on March 14.

At the meeting, an officer required that five family members, including two of the detainees, commit to protect Abu Katifan until her wedding, and they signed an unofficial document to that effect.

Abu Katifan returned home, and on the morning of her murder was due to go with her 64-year-old grandfather to the coastal city of Jaffa for a fitting for her wedding dress, the Walla news site reported. An assailant got into their car and shot her at point-blank range.

Twenty-five women were killed in Israel in 2018 in suspected cases of domestic abuse or violence directed at females. Many of those women had told the police prior to their deaths that they were concerned for their safety.

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