After a long and hard battle in the Knesset, the amendment to the Guardianship Law has gone into effect, forcing Eliran Malul – husband and murderer of Michal Sela – to lose guardianship of their children, meaning that he cannot make any decisions about them.
Malul had killed 32-year-old Sela in 2019 in their Motza home outside Jerusalem in front of their eight-month-old baby. She was found with multiple stab wounds. Neighbors had called the police after Malul had come to their door, covered in blood, and given them the baby, after which he reportedly fainted. He was found with stab wounds to his stomach and neck in serious condition.
Malul’s condition became “lightly injured” after undergoing surgery at Hadassah.
Sela, from Beit Zayit, near Motza, was a social worker in Jerusalem, as was her husband, and met Malul through their work helping at-risk teens.
Malul had a history of domestic abuse, with numerous previous partners reporting that he had been emotionally and even physically abusive.
The amendment to the Guardianship Law – which passed in a third reading this past Hanukkah – forces those who murdered or attempted to murder their partners in acts of domestic abuse to automatically lose their guardianship rights over the couple's children.
Malul received a written notice on Thursday, explaining the conditions under which he lost all custody of their children and lost rights to Sela's home.
Head of the Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) and New Hope leader Gideon Sa'ar came to visit Sela's family, including her sister, women's rights activist Lili Ben Ami.
Their visit was perfectly timed; it landed on the day the amendment went into effect on Malul, but also on Tu Bishvat (a holiday which celebrates renewal and birth) and on the Hebrew birthday of Sela's daughter, who was less than a year old when her mother was murdered.
The family produced mass public support for the advancement of the amendment, and Forer thanked them for such support.
"The law to deny guardianship was enacted for Michal and for dozens of murdered women, as well as women who experienced attempted murder in past years," Forer told Sela's family. "It is so symbolic that this law, which instills a little peace and stability for families who have been harmed by domestic violence, goes into effect specifically on Tu Bishvat, which represents a bloom and planting roots."