Israeli Christian charged with daughter's murder over relationship with Muslim man and her plans to convert to Islam

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A Muslim worshipper
A Muslim worshipper prays, during the holy month of Ramadan, in the Gallipoli Mosque located in the western Sydney suburb of Auburn, Australia, July 10, 2015. Picture taken July 10, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

An Israeli Christian father has been charged for his daughter’s slaying over her relationship with a Muslim, for whom she planned to convert to Islam. Seventeen-year-old Arab-Israeli Henriette Karra was murdered last month after reportedly hiding from her family for two weeks.

Her father Sami from the central Israeli town of Ramle allegedly beat and threatened Henriette. He told her, “I would spend my whole life in jail. I don’t care,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

The victim’s body was recovered in the kitchen of her parent’s house with stab wounds on her neck. Her mother told the police in the course of the investigation that her husband felt humiliated by Henriette’s behaviour and thought of it as an insult to the “family’s honour.”

Sami, 58, refused to answer questions from the police after his arrest. He has criminal records including property violations and drug dealing and possession, Haaretz has learned.

His lawyers have denied the allegations. Attorneys Shukri Abu Tabik and Giora Zilberstein told Ynet that although it was no secret that the family suffered from a bad relationship, it could not lead to murder.

Days before Henriette’s murder

One week before her death, Henriette had filed a police report saying her own mother had attacked her. She had also alerted a friend about being under attack. In one her text messages, Henriette said “they” were sending people to kill her. In another text, she told a friend she did not have the strength to stand on her feet and run away as she was being searched in every possible place.

On June 11, two days before she died, Henriette and her parents attended a joint meeting with a social worker. She was asked by her parents to return home, but she refused. During the meeting, the sides agreed that Henriette would stay with a relative. But she returned home later that evening, then attended a high school graduation party the next day.

A conversation between her parents was recorded by the police the night before the murder. Sami was heard saying “Forget about her, let her go to hell” when his wife asked him why he let Henriette attend her graduation party.

On June 13, she told a relative about her plans to convert once her boyfriend got out of prison. The relative told Henriette’s father about it. This led to the father deciding to murder her, according to the indictment.

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