On Wednesday, Israeli police said they found the body of a Palestinian believed to have killed an elderly Israeli woman in Tel Aviv the previous day. The man’s body was found hanging from a noose, and the Israeli police claimed that he ‘committed suicide’.
The previous night, on Tuesday, Israeli police say they found the body of an elderly Israeli woman, Shulamit Rachel Ovadia, 84, in the Holon suburb in Tel Aviv. They then initiated a massive manhunt for the suspect, who, according to the police, was Mousa Sarsour, 28, from Qalqilia, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, who was working in construction in an area near where the woman was killed.
His body, found hanging from a noose, was found by an Israeli man heading to a synagogue in the area.
Israeli media published a surveillance video showing a man who they claim was Sarsour, approaching the woman from behind before hitting her in the head and then fleeing the area. The video was very unclear, but police told the Israeli public through repeated media reports that they were searching for a Palestinian man, and asked for help from the public to locate the suspect.
A day later, a Palestinian man was found hanged to death in an abandoned building, just a few miles from where the Israeli woman was killed, and the police claimed he “committed suicide.”
Israeli media outlets claimed that Sarsour “entered Israeli legally, on Tuesday morning, and carried a valid work permit.”
Sarsour’s family said the Israeli police statements and reports do not represent the truth and denied the Israeli allegations that Sarsour was involved in the murder. The police initially called the killing a homicide, then shifted the accusation to claim the incident was “nationally motivated” and eventually labeled it as a “terrorist attack.”
“Our son was a quiet, shy person and had mental issues and a speech impediment,” the family said, “He took various sorts of medications and was also addicted to narcotics, which caused him many side effects that impacted his overall well-being.”
“We do not believe the allegations and the narrative of the Israeli police; we believe the Israeli police were looking for someone else with similar physical characteristics,” the family added, “We also do not believe the allegation that he committed suicide; we think someone killed him after the police released a blurry distant image from a surveillance video and a vague physical description of the man who killed that Israeli woman. We believe our son became terrified after hearing the descriptions and allegations and ran away in fear.”
Sarsour was not known to have a political affiliation or ties to Palestinian resistance groups. He also carried a work permit and was trying to support himself by working in construction.
It is worth mentioning that the Israeli army abducted at least eleven relatives of Sarsour after storming and searching their homes in the occupied West Bank.