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Less than two days after a double murder-suicide attempt shattered an Ashdod family, the Shabbat quiet was broken in the nearby community of Merkaz Shapira on Saturday morning when, police believe, a husband fatally shot his wife and then critically wounded himself.
Kobi and Aya Elmakayis were discovered in the bedroom of their new house in the early morning hours, both suffering from severe gunshot wounds to the head and upper body. Both were taken to the advanced trauma facilities at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where Aya, 38, succumbed to her wounds shortly after.
Doctors worked throughout the day Saturday to try to save 39-year-old Kobi, who is suspected of fatally shooting his wife and then himself. The family's four children, ranging in age from three to 14, were all asleep in their rooms when the shots were fired in the family's home on Rehov Haetrog.
No suicide note was discovered at the scene of the incident, and police said that they had no previous complaints concerning the family, nor was there any known history of abuse.
Only one month ago, the family moved from Ma'aleh Michmash to the small religious community just outside of Kiryat Malachi. Over Shabbat, the couple hosted Kobi's brother and his wife at the house. Both husband and wife were shot by the pistol that Elmakayis's brother was licensed to carry and which police recovered near the bodies.
A similar tragedy rocked Ashdod late Thursday night, when, police believe, a 33-year-old man stabbed his 36-year-old wife and her mother to death and then tried to kill himself.
Shortly before midnight, Ashdod police received an emergency call from the man, who said that he had beaten his wife and her mother, but did not elaborate as to why. Police rushed to the apartment on Rehov Harotem, only to discover that the situation was much worse than they had imagined.
"When we arrived at the scene, it turned out that the blows had turned into stabbings," said Ashdod Police Dep.-Cmdr. Daniel El-Grat. "We had two women's bodies in the house. He himself tried to end his life and stabbed himself very brutally in the stomach."
The man was brought in moderate condition to Rehovot's Kaplan Hospital for treatment, and police said they would question him as soon as his medical condition permitted.
As in the incident at Merkaz Shapira, four of the couple's children were asleep in the house at the time of the murder.
The oldest son, a 12-year-old, was not home at the time of the incident and was later found wandering around Rehovot.
An initial investigation indicated he had fled the house when his father began to assault his mother and grandmother. In this incident as well, the suspect left no suicide note, and police said there was no recorded history of previous violence in the family.
El-Grat did say, however, that on the day of the murder, there had been complaints of yelling from the family's apartment.
The five children were turned over to their mother's sister's care in cooperation with representatives of child welfare services.
The Ashdod incident is at least the third such murder-suicide to occur among Ethiopian immigrants within the past five months. While Ethiopians comprise one percent of the Israeli population, 25 percent of women killed by their husbands in the past decade have been Ethiopian and eight of the 20 most recent wife murders - 40% - have been within the Ethiopian immigrant community.