A Jerusalem-area man suspected of killing his partner and hiding her body on the balcony of her apartment in the Gilo neighborhood worked for police as an undercover agent for the past several months, authorities announced on Wednesday.
Yitzhak Aderi, a 36-year-old resident of Beit Shemesh, is accused of murdering Sarit Banit- Zikari, 40, on January 6. Banit-Zikari’s four children were in the apartment for at least four days while their mother’s body was hidden under mattresses and rugs outside.
On Wednesday, Aderi’s remand was extended for an additional five days by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, which also lifted a media ban on additional details of the investigation.
Banit-Zikari was reported missing on the night of January 9 by family members after her children were unable to get in touch with her. Earlier, one child reportedly received a text message from her, saying that she was vacationing with Aderi in a cabin up north, so authorities were not immediately notified.
When police finally launched an investigation, they discovered that Aderi, who reportedly served prison time for domestic assault, was working as an undercover agent. He severed contact with his controller on the morning of January 9 and went into hiding. Police located him the following day in Beit Shemesh, hiding in a car that belonged to Banit-Zikari.
Aderi was recruited by police a few months ago for an undercover investigation into a blackmail scheme involving a Jerusalem contractor.
Three men were arrested in the past few days in connection with that investigation, but police released no further information.
Banit-Zikari’s body bore signs of violence, and police believe she was killed after the couple had a fight.
It was the third incidence of domestic violence ending in murder in the
country in two weeks. An Arad man admitted shooting his wife to death on
December 29, and on January 9, a murder-suicide took place in Beersheba
when a 44-year old man stabbed his exwife to death and then jumped out a
window to his own death.
According to the Women’s International Zionist Organization, 20 women
were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2010, although the
actual number could be much higher.
Women who find themselves in violent situations are encouraged to
contact the National Hotline for Battered Women by dialing 118.