Police said the killer, Muhammad Harouf, confessed after an investigation into Halimi’s disappearance.
Halimi, a resident of the community of Adam in Judea and Samaria, was initially reported missing May 23. Her body was found July 24 in the Sand Dunes Park in Holon.
Harouf’s confession came after he initially gave multiple conflicting accounts of Halimi’s whereabouts. Following his confession, Harouf was brought to Holon to reenact the murder. He told police he strangled his girlfriend and then hit her in the head with a rock before burying her body.
The couple had posted photos on social media indicating their intention to become engaged. Halimi was eight months pregnant at the time of the murder. She was also reportedly married to an Israeli man at the time of her death, and it is not clear who the baby’s father was.
Harouf said he had a nationalistic motivation for the murder when speaking with reporters Wednesday outside the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.
“I wanted to free [Palestinian security] prisoners,” he said.
In the courtroom, Harouf kicked a prison guard and screamed, “I’ll kill all the Jews,” Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
The Tel Aviv District Court is expected to indict Harouf for murder and additional charges in the coming days.