A 20-year-old mother was stabbed to death by her ex-husband in the presence of their three-year-old son in Petah Tikva on Sunday evening, just a few hours after the woman had filed a complaint against the man.
Masrat Almo was stabbed repeatedly on a Petah Tikva street. Police arrested the suspect after being called to the scene by neighbors, and found him sitting by the body, which still had a knife lodged in it when officers arrived.
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The incident began on Sunday evening, when the stabbing victim met her ex-husband at a square near the woman's home at 6:30 p.m. The man attempted to snatch their young son away, police said, prompting Almo to phone the police a little over an hour later.
At 7:46 p.m., a patrol car was dispatched to Almo's address to pick her up. Patrol officers searched for the suspect together with Almo. After failing to locate him, Almo was brought to the Petah Tikva police station to lodge a complaint.
At 9:46 p.m., officers had completed the process of taking down the complaint, after requiring an interpreter that could translate the woman's complaint in Amharic to Hebrew.
The woman then left the police station with her son, police said, encountering her ex-husband on the street near her home, where he had been waiting.
Shortly after the murder, a check of the conduct of officers involved in the case was ordered by central police district head, Cmdr. Bentsi Sao, and Sharon police sub-district head, Asnt.-Cmdr. Somroni.
Police concluded that the woman had endangered herself by failing to comply with police requests to wait at the station for police to take her back to her home.
"The conduct of the police station in this tragic case was free of faults," police said in a statement. "All steps to prevent harm to the victim... She was asked not to leave the station without being accompanied by police," the statement continued.
"A patrol car was en route to the station to collect her and bring her to her home," police said, adding that she would have been advised to lock her door after being accompanied home.
Almo and her ex-husband had recently emigrated to Israel from Ethiopia. In Israel, the couple split up after relatives of Almo say she had become the victim of domestic violence.
On Monday morning, the murder suspect reenacted the stabbing for police. He was then taken to a psychiatric hospital for an examination of his mental state in order to determine whether he was fit to be held in custody.
The murdered woman's young son has been transferred to the custody of social services.