Husband suspect in Gilo woman’s slaying

40-year-old Sarit Zikri-Benit was found with signs of violence on her body on balcony of her apartment; partner was found hiding in Beit Shemesh.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
January 11, 2011 19:38
2 minute read.
Police in Jerusalem [file]

police koresh street 248.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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The body of a 40-year-old Jerusalem woman, Sarit Banit-Zikary, was discovered by police on Tuesday, days after she was killed.

Police believe the woman was murdered on Thursday, and her body was hidden on the balcony of her apartment in the southern Gilo neighborhood, underneath blankets and mattresses.

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Her husband was reportedly arrested in connection with her murder. The body was found with signs of violence, and was taken to the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir.

The woman’s four sons, between ages eight and 20, had apparently been in the home since Thursday and did not know their mother had been killed and her body was still in the apartment.

On Tuesday, police also arrested a man from Beit Shemesh who was related to the husband and is suspected of assisting in the murder.

The Jerusalem Municipality said its social services department had not been in contact with the woman or the family before the killing. The four boys have been taken in by social services.



This latest act of domestic violence comes after two other recent cases. An Arad man admitted to shooting his wife to death two weeks ago, and on Sunday, a murder- suicide took place in Beersheba, when a 44-yearold man stabbed his ex-wife to death and then jumped out of the window to his death.

“It’s simply disgusting that we have three instances of women being killed in less than two weeks,” said Nurit Kaufmann, who oversees programs that help victims of violence through WIZO (The Women’s International Zionist Organization) Israel. She said that in 2010, around 20 murders of women were recorded as a result of domestic violence, though the actual number could be much higher.

Already 2011 is on the way to exceeding this number.

WIZO runs two shelters and a number of centers that help women in violent situations.

“Women should be aware of services that are available, but it’s also important to understand that there are some instances of murder that we can’t avoid, to our great sorrow,” Kaufmann said. It’s impossible to place the blame on social services, because at the end of the day it’s up to the woman to make the difficult decision to leave the family, she said.

Kaufmann encouraged any woman who finds herself the victim of violence to reach out to resources in the community or family members if possible. “It’s important not to be alone in this terrible situation,” she said.

The National Hotline for Battered Women can be reached by dialing 118.

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