Israel Police officer 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A man stabbed his wife to death before hanging himself in their Rishon Lezion
apartment on Tuesday.
Two of the couple’s children – a 10-year-old boy
and 12- year-old girl – heard their mother scream in her bedroom and tried to
reach her, only to find that she had been locked in by their father. The boy
sneaked into the room through a window and found the bodies of his
He shouted to his uncle, who lives in the next building, for
help, who then contacted emergency services.
Police forensic units
arrived on the scene and removed the bodies.
The incident is the fourth
time a woman was murdered by her partner in the past four weeks.
family were members of the Ethiopian community, which has struggled with
incidents of domestic violence in recent years. The latest figures released by
the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry this week show that 60.1 percent of the
110,000 community receives ongoing treatment from social
Despite this, a spokeswoman for the Rishon Lezion municipality
told The Jerusalem Post
Tuesday that the family, which made aliya in 2006, had
received brief assistance from social welfare services for economic difficulties
in 2008 but had not received ongoing social services for any other
In a statement, the Knesset’s only Ethiopian-born member,
Shlomo Molla (Kadima), blamed the various government offices charged with
helping the immigrant community for failing to understand the specific needs of
He said the entire absorption process leaves many new
immigrants without permanent housing or the skills needed to find work – in a
state of “idleness” – which causes them to be disoriented and frustrated and
often leads to domestic violence.
“Again and again we keep hearing about
these terrible incidents of murders and domestic violence that are destroying
entire families,” said Molla. “We should not accept this terrible reality, where
we are failing to prevent these incidents, failing to protect women and seeing
children end up as orphans.”
Micah Feldman, who worked with the Ethiopian
community for many years and now heads the Ethiopian Division of SELAH – Israel
Crisis Management Center, spent Tuesday morning comforting relatives of the
couple, although he said he did not have a chance to meet with the three
children, the youngest of whom is five.
SELAH provides support and
counseling to members of immigrant communities that experience tragedy. In this case, Feldman explained SELAH would likely help the
relatives cover the costs of the mourning and burial ceremonies, and would also
work together with the authorities to find a framework for the children,
preferably sending them to live with their grandparents.
He told the Post
that cases of domestic violence or murder in families were very rare before
immigrants arrived in Israel.
“In the 30 years I have been working with
the Ethiopian community, I have only heard of two cases of murder in the family
and both happened in the city, never in villages,” he said, explaining that in
Ethiopia there is usually a network of social support that helps solve problems
When they arrive in Israel, said Feldman, “there is no
alternative network in place. In Ethiopia, the elders were in charge but here
that has disappeared.”
He also explained that pressures faced by new
immigrants after they arrive in Israel do not exist in their country of origin,
where the men spend most of their time working and the women take care of the
“In Israel these immigrants are faced with great economic pressure,
they are barely surviving financially,” said Feldman, adding there is also a
disconnect between the generations, with children behaving more “Israeli” and
parents wanting them to adhere to the old traditions of respect.