‘I thought I was going to die’ – Bedouin women expose Sheikh’s violent exorcism ceremonies

Paralyzed with fear, one young woman described the Sheikh “strangling her” in order to force the demons out of her body.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Sheikh who was arrested after an exorcism ceremony which left a woman dead has a long history of harming women during the course of the ritual, Channel 12 reported Tuesday morning.

A., who was identified only by her first initial, told Mako that during the exorcism there “was a scary moment when I felt I had no air, that I was going to die.”

The 25-year-old resident of a Bedouin community in Israel’s southern Negev desert explained that her “parents forced me to go to him because I refused to marry my cousin and they thought his treatment would help.

“The ceremony was scary, he shouted things out of the Koran and violently shook my body.”

“My father claimed I was having problems [because] I could not find a man who wanted to marry me,” said M., a 30-year-old Bedouin woman from the south, told Channel 12.

“He forced me to go to the Sheikh…he read verses from the Koran and started screaming and shouting, I was half paralyzed [with fear.]

“He strangled me, [tightly] squeezed my throat to force the demons out…after that he took his hands off my throat and continued screaming. It took about an hour.”

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22-year-old S. also had a frightening experience with the Sheikh, after her father and husband demanded that he treat her for supposed demonic possession.

“My husband suspected that I was looking at other men and the devil had entered my body,” S. said.

“The Sheikh said there was a demon inside me, controlling me. He yelled all sorts of things intending to expel the demon, and sometimes touched my neck so that the demon would exit and a ‘good spirit’ would come in.

“After the ceremony, I didn’t get out of bed for a few days.”

In late October, a 26-year-old woman from a Bedouin community in Israel’s south was left dead after an alleged exorcism went awry,

The Sheikh, a local doctor, and the woman’s husband were arrested in the aftermath of the incident.

According to Hebrew-language media, two of the men arrested are relatives of Ismail Haniyeh, a prominent Hamas leader based in Gaza who is currently the head of the terror group’s political bureau.