Murder prompts new police blitz in Lod

Husband, relatives arrested in honor killing of Arab mother-of-five.

By
October 21, 2010 05:27
2 minute read.
Crime scene [illustrative photo]

Kalansawa shooting police 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

As pressure mounted on authorities to stem a wave of fatal shootings in Lod, in which two women were killed at close range this month, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch responded to criticisms of inadequate policing by pointing a finger at what he described as a “culture” of honor killings that he said is rampant within the Arab community.

Aharonovitch ordered yet more Border Police officers into the city on Wednesday, and declared the start of a new drive to seize illegal firearms in Lod.

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“Preventing murders, especially ‘family honor’ slayings, will not be achieved through increased enforcement, but through a change in culture, education, legal deterrence, an increased role by welfare services and an improvement in infrastructure,” Aharonovitch said.

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“In Israel, we will not see a situation in which a police officer sleeps in every home,” the public security minister said. “When a crimes arrive at the police’s door, it means that all the other arms of the state have failed.

“The police cannot replace health workers, courts, social workers, teachers and parents,” he added.

Lod will in the coming months enter an urban policing pilot scheme, in which municipal inspectors with some police powers will patrol the city’s streets, as part of an effort to mitigate violent crime, the Public Security Ministry announced.

“We call on the residents of the city to increase cooperation in order to unite the ranks in the war against crime and violence,” the Ministry added.

Meanwhile, a Ramle Magistrate Court extended the custody of four suspects arrested in connection with the murder of 34-year-old Abiv Abu Katifo by four days on Tuesday night.

Katifo, a mother of five, was mortally wounded from multiple gunshot injuries and rushed by unknown individuals to the Assaf Harofe Medical Center in Tzrifin, where she died of her wounds.

The suspects are Katifo’s husband, his brother, his cousin, and two men from Ramle. One of the men from Ramle was released by the court to house arrest, but police have launched an appeal against the decision at the Petah Tikva District Court, and he will remain in custody until a decision is made on the appeal on Thursday.

Reports that the men from Ramle could be connected to other recent slayings in the city were unfounded, a police source told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

“We’re not saying that any of the suspects directly carried out the shooting at this stage. They are, however, suspected of involvement,” the police source added. “The investigation is still at an early stage.”

Tuesday’s shooting was the third homicide in Lod this month, and the 13th murder there in two years.

Dozens of Jewish and Arab residents of Lod held a spontaneous demonstration outside of the police station on Tuesday night to call for firm measures to end violent crime.

Earlier this month, a 27-yearold mother of three was shot dead from close range in her car in front of her two young children.

A 48-year-old man was also killed this month in front of his daughter, in his car, near city hall.


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