Following Netanya murders, groups call on authorities to protect women

Policeman reported that he had murdered his wife.

Israel police car (Illustrative) (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israel police car (Illustrative)
Women’s groups called on the authorities to step up measures to prevent violence against women following the murder of a woman in Netanya on Sunday, which was allegedly perpetrated by her husband, who is a policeman.
Masresha Wasa, 24, allegedly murdered his wife Angoach Malkmu Wasa, 36, in the presence of their three young children on Sunday night, after which he reported his crime to the police and was arrested.
Three young children – two from the victim’s previous marriage as well as the couple’s two month-old baby – were in the apartment at the time of the alleged murder which occurred at their home on Nahum Street. Wasa reportedly shot his wife in the head.
The investigation of the incident was transferred to Mahash, the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigation Department.
Channel 2 reported that Wasa told Mahash that he had a heated argument with his wife and he brandished his gun to scare her, but accidentally fired a bullet.
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich addressed the murder during an event in Gilboa on Monday, describing it as “a terrible incident.” He said policeman rushed to the scene to check on the children and noted that they will need continued support.
Questioned over the issue of violence in Israeli society, he said it’s “painful and problematic.”
He said police work together with the Welfare Ministry on preventative measures and have built strategic programs to tackle the issue further.
Sunday’s murder followed on the heels of another murder of a female Netanya resident last week, when Aliza Shpak was allegedly murdered by her ex-husband.
According to information provided by the Israel Women´s Network, Angoach was the 20th woman to be murdered this year.
“Another difficult morning. Again we were informed of the murder of a woman by her husband,” the Isha L’Isha – Haifa Feminist Center wrote in a social media post on Monday. “This woman has a name. Angoach Wasa, blessed be her memory. This woman had a life. This woman had children. She had parents, and now Angoach Wasa is gone. She has nothing... She joined the dismal statistics of women murdered by their partners.”
“Let us demand together that this murder not just be a part of gloomy statistics. This can be achieved by establishing a national authority that will combat violence against women – an authority that will lead and include measures that will deal with violence via education to prevent it,” the post concluded.
Isha L’Isha director Naomi Schneiderman called on women suffering from domestic violence to report their situation and to contact women’s shelters.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is to circulate information that will encourage women to take the step and go to a shelter, which is much more than a roof, but a comprehensive therapeutic program designed to help the woman and her children to stand on their feet and break out of the cycle of violence,” Schneiderman said.
Meanwhile the “Gun on the Kitchen Table” coalition, of which Isha L’Isha is a member, called for a halt to the government’s recent decision to broaden the criteria for issuing gun licenses.
“Another woman was murdered tonight, only a few days after the tragic death of Aliza Shpak, of blessed memory,” the coalition, made of 15 organizations that oppose the use of weapons in the public sphere, said on Sunday.
“This murder proves what we have been claiming for a long time – more weapons in the civilian sphere are a real danger to the lives of innocent people, and of women in particular,” the coalition stated.
“Our call is clear. Weapons must not be left in the hands of policemen/soldiers/prison guards/ security guards outside the place and the hours of work. [Public Security Minister] Gilad Erdan, our houses are not weapons storehouses, and the lives of the women who are the main victims of this irresponsible policy are worth more,” the coalition said.
The coalition is currently taking legal action against Erdan’s recent move to expand the criteria for obtaining a gun permit.
The new criteria for obtaining a license makes hundreds of thousands of IDF infantry unit veterans eligible to receive firearms licenses. In addition, officers and commanders will not be required to return their arms and weapons after they are released from reserve duty.