Crime scene [illustrative].
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
A woman was fatally stabbed in her Rishon Lezion home on Monday morning, minutes before her husband committed suicide in a nearby park, in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide.
Paramedics found Gonya Mataku, 44, with stab wounds across her upper body and showing no signs of life. They had been called to the scene on Arnon Street after the couple’s 17-year-old daughter called for help from her neighbors, screaming that she had just seen her father murder her mother.
Husband Bakaleh Mataku, 49, was found shortly thereafter hanging from a tree in a public park a few blocks away.
The Matakus leave behind five children aged three to 20.
The 17-year-old and a three-year- old were home when their mother was killed.
The couple had no history of domestic violence and no complaints were filed with police or social services, according to police, though neighbors interviewed on Monday reported that the husband was known to be violent with his wife.
There has been a long series of spousal abuse involving Ethiopian Israelis in recent years. In a report on Monday, Ynet quoted an internal Immigration and Absorption Ministry report as saying that in the past decade, 26 Ethiopian Israelis have murdered their wives. The report adds that they make up 19 percent of all women killed by their husbands, about 10 times their proportion of their general population.
MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), head of the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality, said the incident illustrates the need for a nationwide body to prevent such violence, which will bring together all the various local authorities in order to prevent more deaths like those on Monday.