A man in northern Israel has been charged with murdering his mother in response to her conversion from Islam to Christianity, the Times of Israel reported Monday.
What are the details?
According to charging documents, 27-year-old Muad Hib reportedly set up a meeting with his mother, 46-year-old Rasha Muklasha, on Aug. 5 near Nazareth with the intention of killing her and disposing of her remains.
Hib allegedly picked up Muklasha in his car, then “strangled [her] with a rope or his hands, alone or with others, with the intention of causing her death,” the court documents reportedly said.
Prosecutors argue it was his mother’s conversion approximately 15 years earlier that served as the motivation for the heinous premeditated murder.
They recounted that Muklasha had left her husband and cut ties with her five children — including Hib — in 2006 when she moved to Nof HaGalil and converted to Christianity, an act forbidden in Muslim communities.
But in recent months, Muklasha had resumed contact with several of her children following the passing of her ex-husband. Yet even after more than a decade, prosecutors say that her conversion of faith “greatly angered” Hib, who ultimately sought revenge.
After strangling Muklasha to death, Hib searched for a place to hide the body, eventually ramming through a police roadblock before traveling to the Jordan River. There, he dug a pit and buried the body under rocks and dry leaves “to obscure the body’s location and make it harder to locate,” prosecutors alleged.
But according to the Times of Israel, later that day, the suspect rammed through a second roadblock that had been set up as a part of the investigation, alerting police, who chased the suspect and captured him near Nahalal.
The news outlet noted that two of Hib’s brothers, ages 23 and 30, were also arrested, but it was not clear if they would be charged.
Police reportedly searched the area intently using helicopters, canine, cavalry, and reconnaissance tracker units and discovered Muklasha’s remains roughly 26 hours after the arrest.
During a news conference, Northern District chief Shimon Lavi touted “the rapid work of investigators in locating the suspect” and the “rapid and extensive operation to locate the victim’s body.”