Three weeks after he was arrested as the sole suspect in the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s 13-year-old girl, Tesfebarhan Tesfasion has confessed to killing her and admitted it was an act of revenge against her mother, Channel 10 TV news reported Monday.
Tesfasion, an Eritrean migrant, had in the past remained silent about the murder of Sylvana Tsegai on November 26, a case that shocked the country. He spent two days on the run after the killing before he was arrested in Tel Aviv.
According to the report, Tesfasion told investigators that he carried out the crime to spite Tsegai’s mother, with whom he had been in a relationship.
During remand hearings police claimed they had security camera footage placing Tesfasion at the scene of the crime when the murder was committed, the report said.
Sources close to Tsegai’s family have reportedly said that Sylvana and her mother had been planning to leave Israel, and that Tesfasion had objected to that plan.
Tsegai’s death, coming hours after the discovery of the body of another murdered teen, 16-year-old Yara Ayoub, prompted a wave of protests opposing violence against women and demands that the government do more to tackle the problem.
Since the murders, there have been numerous protests and strikes by women to highlight the 25 women killed in domestic violence since the beginning of the year.
While the manhunt was still on to find him, Tesfasion’s father told media that his son was “crazy” and that he did not care if police killed him.
According to Hadashot TV news, Tesfasion entered Israel in 2010 through the Egyptian border and is known to authorities for previous offenses. He was sentenced to one year in prison for drunk driving and forging a driving license.
He also previously escaped from a holding facility for African migrants and allegedly tried to obtain an extension for his permit to stay in the country by using a forged marriage license. Tens of thousands of African migrants entered Israel from Egypt in the last decade, and many now live in Tel Aviv.
According to reports, Tsegai was known to welfare authorities as a victim of domestic violence before the killing. She reportedly called police two days before her death to complain about Tesfasion being in her home.
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