Israeli authorities on Sunday charged an Israeli Christian father with murder for allegedly killing his teenage daughter because she was having a relationship with a Muslim man.
According to the charges, as reported in Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Sami Karra is accused of murdering his 17-year-old daughter Henriette after she left their home, in the central Israeli city of Ramle, because of the family’s opposition to her romance with a Muslim.
She died June 13, after being found with stab wounds to her neck in the kitchen of the family home. She had reportedly left home two weeks before she died, after the family threatened her safety if she didn’t end her relationship with the unnamed man.
The newspaper reported that the man is in an Israeli prison, serving time, and that Henriette, who attended a Jewish school, planned to convert to Islam for him.
Once she had left the family home, she hid in the house of her boyfriend’s mother. Her family continued to use threats, this time against the mother, in a bid to make Henriette return home.
She also stayed at a friend’s house. There, her parents and an uncle, paid her a visit. The police were called to the house at that time but took no action because Henriette did not want assistance, according to the report.
On June 11, two days before her death, police and social services in Israel intervened, holding a meeting with the parents and Henriette. It apparently had little impact. She wanted to live in her own apartment but ultimately had to return home, the indictment said.
The day she died, she told a relative that her boyfriend was due to be freed and that she would convert to Islam once he was. The relative then told the father, who reacted by murdering her in their home.
The father had a history of criminal convictions, including intimidation, but hadn’t been involved in an incident since 2004.
In Israel, both Jewish and Arab communities find intra-religious relationships to be problematic, largely because of tensions over decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.