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Police Arrest Suspect in Murder of Shelly Dadon

Arab taxi driver confesses to murder of Afula woman 'for nationalistic reasons'; reconstructs the act.
By Gil Ronen and Ari Soffer
First Publish: 7/6/2014, 3:59 PM

Shelly Dadon
Shelly Dadon
Courtesy of the Dadon Family

In a dramatic development Sunday, police have announced that the murder of 20-year-old Afula resident Shelly Dadon has been solved.

Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested a taxi driver from the Arab village of Iblin in the Galilee, on suspicion that he carried out the murder for "nationalistic" reasons.

The suspect, named as 38-year-old Hassin Yousef Hassin Khalifah, subsequently confessed under police interrogation to committing the murder, and even reconstructed the crime for police. 

Shelly Danon left her home to Migdal Ha'emek on May 1 for a job interview. A few hours later, her body was found in a parking lot in Migdal Ha'emek.

According to the Shin Bet, Khalifah picked his victim up when she hailed his taxi to take her to a job interview in the industrial zone of Migdal Ha'emek. He then stabbed Dadon to death, and fled in his taxi to dispose of the body.

Murderer: Hassin Khalifah Shin Bet

The ISA communique said that "In the wake of expedited intelligence activity, the Israel Police and the ISA, on 16 June 2014, arrested Hussein Yousef Hussein Khalifa, from Iblin in the Galilee, on suspicion of involvement in the 1 May 2014 murder of Shelly Dadon in the Migdal Haemek industrial zone.

"During ISA questioning, Hussein Khalifa confessed to murdering Dadon and disclosed many details regarding the murder.

"Hussein Khalifa, 34, from Iblin, is a taxi driver who drove workers to and from factories in the Migdal Haemek industrial zone. On the morning of the day of the murder, after dropping off workers at one of the factories as he did daily, he continued toward the center of town (Migdal Haemek) where he picked up the deceased. She requested that he drive her to a job interview in the industrial zone. He drove her to an abandoned parking lot on the outskirts of the industrial zone (not far from her requested destination) where he stabbed her to death and fled the scene in his cab.

"According to his version, after perpetrating the murder, Hussein Khalifa threw away the murder weapon and the deceased's cellphone as he fled the scene, and later washed bloodstains from his cab. He also threw away the deceased's wallet near the community of Beit Zarzir.

'While Hussein Khalifa's motives have yet to be fully clarified, the ISA assessment is that the murder was perpetrated for nationalistic reasons."

Three weeks ago it was reported that there have been "certain developments" in the investigation, adding that the revelations may possibly lead police to solving the case soon.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich announced "dramatic developments" in the investigation on Memorial Day, just days after the murder, when he met with Dadon's family.

Aharonovich reversed his statement that the murder was soon to be explained mere days later, when he said her murder might not be nationalistically motivated.

News of the dramatic breakthrough comes on the same day as police announced arrests of several Jewish extremists in the murder of Arab teen Mohammed Abu-Khder.