Judge rules polygamy is 'cruel,' sends felon to prison

President of the Beersheba District Court Revital Katz ruled that second marriages "are cruelty to women and children."

September 22, 2019 12:17
1 minute read.
Judge rules polygamy is 'cruel,' sends felon to prison

A DEMONSTRATOR holds a banner demanding legal protection for women, in Ramallah on September 4.. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

President of Beersheba District Court Revital Katz ruled on Sunday that a Bedouin man, Ayman Abu Skaik, will serve 7 months in prison for polygamy, Yisrael Hayom reported. 

Since Skaik was convicted roughly a year and a half ago, 17 other persons were indicted for the same felony. 
Skaik, who married his first wife in  2006, married a resident of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank in 2017 as a second wife in accordance with Islamic law, and asked the Islamic court in Beersheba to validate the marriage, which it did. 

In Islam, men are allowed to marry more than one wife. The law of the State of Israel forbids it. 

Skaik was originally sentenced to 400 hours of community service, a fine, and probation. The District Attorney argued that the light sentencing is not appropriate to the crime committed.

Judge Katz accepted the argument and wrote that "the mere fact of [undertaking] a second marriage is cruelty to women, mainly the first wife, and their children." 

She added that this element of cruelty stands even if there are no financial or physical manifestations of cruelty. 

The most infamous polygamist in the country is cult leader Goel Ratzon, sentenced for 30-years in prison for keeping 21 "wives" and fathering more than 40 children. 


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